Finding her way: Despite debilitating disease, Freilinger helps others

March 2015 Posted in People | Comments Off
Kimberli & Shawn Freilinger

Kimberli & Shawn Freilinger

By Brenna Wiegand

Always a “super busy, high energy person” who never got sick, Kimberli Freilinger was baffled when, in graduate school, “things started cropping up.”

“I’d kind of almost fall every once in awhile and I thought that was kind of odd,” the Silverton native said. “I thought it was because I was working on my degree and my internship and trying to be the perfect parent.”

Three years after graduation things took a turn for the worse. Kimberli and husband Shawn Freilinger had two little boys. She taught at George Fox University and ran a private counseling practice. Symptoms began to pile up – migraine headaches and severe nerve and muscle pain.

A benefit ball: Friends honor a creative spirit by making her vision real

March 2015 Posted in Community | Comments Off
Under the Chandelier,
an ASAP benefit and tribute
to Susan Goschie Denny

Saturday, March 14, 6 p.m., Silverton Elks Lodge
Tickets: $50, contact:
UnderTheChandelierASAP@gmail.com

By Kristine Thomas

Her friends could have let her idea fade away. Except, that’s not their style of friendship.

They know what they are planning is probably not exactly how Susan Goschie Denny envisioned it should be, but they are doing their absolute best to fulfill her vision of having a “fancy ball” to benefit ASAP, After School Activities Program in Silverton.

And they know they have one important detail absolutely correct – the chandelier.

Improvements: Mt. Angel School District checks off list of bond projects

March 2015 Posted in School | Comments Off
The middle school parking lot has been redesigned to provide a school bus lane for easy loading.

The middle school parking lot has been redesigned to provide a school bus lane for easy loading.

By Vince Teresi

It’s an attractive facility-facelift for Mt. Angel Middle School in 2015, starting with the new school sign at the driveway entry on East Marquam Street.

“The school has always been a great place to be and now it’s even better,” Principal Jennifer McCallum said.

Young entrepreneurs: New generation of driven business owners

March 2015 Posted in Business, Other, People | Comments Off

By Brenna Wiegand

They are some of Silverton’s youngest business owners – a group of hardworking, motivated young adults who chose to go after their dreams and make something of their own instead becoming 9-5 employees. Each business owner has an interesting story. Here’s a glace at the  young entrepreneurs and the path they chose to take.

Darleen and Ben Sichley, Abiqua Acres Dairy

Darleen and Ben Sichley, Abiqua Acres Dairy



Abiqua Acres Dairy

In 2008, Darleen, 27, and Ben Sichley, 28, went into partnership with her parents Alan and Barbara Mann at Abiqua Acres Dairy. They live steps from each other and share in the twice daily, 365 days a year milking of at least 90 300-pound Guernsey cows. Darleen is the fourth generation on the land – and they have two boys.

Bursting at the seams: Police evidence locker stuffed to capacity

March 2015 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off
Dori Elliot sorts Silverton Police Department evidence.

Dori Elliot sorts Silverton Police Department evidence.

By Brenna Wiegand

Making arrests and seizing evidence is a triumph – and a burden that can leave police holding the bag – literally. Unlike suspects, evidence lingers at the police station for months or even years.

It must be cataloged, packaged and securely stored until the gavel comes down and the case is closed.

“We’ve outgrown our space so our evidence locker is pretty much busting at the seams,” Silverton Police Chief Jeff Fossholm said.

Fresh starts: Gardeners can preorder vegetable plants

March 2015 Posted in Business, People | Comments Off
Heather Desmarteau-Fast, right, teaches a beginning gardening class at Stamen and Pistil Urban Garden Center.

Heather Desmarteau-Fast, right, teaches a beginning gardening class at Stamen and Pistil Urban Garden Center.

By Melissa Wagoner

Silverton resident Heather Desmarteau-Fast is passionate about gardening.

“Gardening is my life. It’s part of my past and my present. It’s therapeutic,” Desmarteau-Fast said.

She’s bringing that passion to life for others with the advent of her new venture Stamen and Pistil Urban Garden Center.

“I’ve always had a desire to have my own place but I didn’t really know what that would look like,” Desmarteau-Fast said. “But I enjoy growing plants and I enjoy working with the public.”

Power of Produce: Introducing children to fruits and vegetables

March 2015 Posted in Community | Comments Off
Heron Higby with fresh goodies at the Farmer’s Market

Heron Higby with fresh goodies at the Farmer’s Market

By Melissa Wagoner

Getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is important to Jacquie Curtis, co-manager of the Silverton Farmer’s Market.

To help children acquire a taste for apricots to zucchini, Curtis is implementing a program to do just that. It’s called the Power of Produce Club, the POP Club for short.

“It was something started by the market manager in Oregon City in May 2011,” Curtis said. “Now it’s spread across the US and is in Canada as well.”

Foxes take hoop title: Boys first in league, girls tied for first

March 2015 Posted in Other | Comments Off

James DayBy James Day

The Silverton High boys basketball team has won the Mid-Willamette Conference championship.

The Foxes took a hard-fought 57-54 overtime win Feb. 20 at Central High School to improve to 11-1 in league play, three games in front with just two games to play.

It was the second overtime win of the season for the Foxes against the Panthers. Silverton is 16-4 overall and ranked No. 4 by the OSAA.

The Foxes will play a home playoff game March 6 against a team to be determined. A win there would put Silverton into the Class 5A state tournament at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

Willamette Valley Wine & Jazz in Silverton

March 2015 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off

The Oregon Garden is teaming with the Silverton Chamber of Commerce and the  Silverton Wine & Jazz Festival board to present Willamette Valley Wine & Jazz, a two-day festival in historic Silverton.

Set for March 27 and 28, the $25 ticket includes:

• Discounts on wine and food small-plate pairings at restaurants throughout Silverton Friday night.

• Admission to a New Orleans-style jazz concert at Silverton Elks Club Friday night.

• Admission to The Oregon Garden for wine tasting and jazz in the pavilion on Saturday.

• Commemorative wine glass plus five script tickets for tastes. Ten East Valley wineries will be featured.

Letter to the Editor: Farmer vs. farmer – Water dispute threatens to destroy lives, livelihoods

March 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

For almost 15 years, I traveled across the U.S. working to save family farms from foreclosure, from erosion, from sprawl.

A number of things can take down a farm, but rarely did I ever find the threat coming from another farmer.

Farmers are a club of survivors who understand and respect one another’s appreciation for land, place, history and hard work, and they work hard to help one another make it from one year to the next.

That’s why I find the actions of the farmers who compose the East Valley Water District to be so sad.

Letter to the Editor: Follow the law

March 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

I can’t keep quiet any longer.

Today, one of our precious elementary teachers came into the building visibly shaken and nearly in tears, because she was walking across the crosswalk (you know the one with the big white lines) in front of Eugene Field Elementary School.

A car had stopped.

Another car behind her, on their cell phone, tried zipping around the first car, and just missed our beloved teacher.

Hundreds of people cross these highways by foot to get to our school.

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE SCHOOL. It’s an elementary school – the white lines mean people are crossing the highway.

A Grin at the End: Common sense investments

February 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

carl-sampsonBy Carl Sampson

During the past year, I’ve undertaken a study in alternative economics. I call it “The Use of Voluntary Taxation as a Means of Funding Higher Education.”

In short, I bought lottery tickets in hopes of getting money to pay for my kids’ college education.

The result: It didn’t work.

Not only that but I found that the lottery is probably the worst “investment” anyone could make.

In terms of return, it is right up there with setting dollar bills on fire or throwing them out the window as you drive down Highway 22.

Art of friendship: Jane Jones named Silverton’s 2014 First Citizen

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Jane Jones

Jane Jones

By Kristine Thomas

Jane Jones said her husband didn’t think she would act so quickly.

But then again, Ron Jones should have known better and shouldn’t be surprised at what Jane does especially since they have known each other since high school.

Jane Jones merely mentioned she was considering joining the Silverton Rotary Club when the next thing Ron knew she had been to a meeting and was starting the paperwork.

Laughing, Jane said she still has to go through a process to be accepted to the civic group.

Joyful giving: Jim and Marilyn Hall are Mount Angel First Citizens

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Jim and Marilyn Hall

Jim and Marilyn Hall

By Brenna Wiegand

To recognize their decades of volunteer service, Jim and Marilyn Hall were chosen as Mount Angel’s First Citizens for 2014. They also celebrate their 40-year anniversary this year with eight kids ages 14-38 and 12 grandchildren.

Though Marilyn led Vacation Bible School for 25 years and has hosted a Bible study for 10 years, she is best known as keeper of the costumes the past 27 years – sewing, altering, collecting and distributing some 265 dirndls and lederhosen for Oktoberfest’s youngest dancers.

Future First: Silverton’s Valeria Vazquez-Trejo looks toward career of service

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Silverton Future First Citizen Valeria Vazquez-Trejo (right) with her younger sister Alejandra.

Silverton Future First Citizen Valeria Vazquez-Trejo (right) with her younger sister Alejandra.

By Kristine Thomas 

To understand how dedicated Silverton Future First Citizen Valeria Vazquez-Trejo is to community service, ask her health occupation teacher Geralyn Sheets.

“Val asked me what time the First Citizen banquet started on Feb. 28,” Sheets said. “When I asked her why, she wanted to know if she would still have time to volunteer with the Red  Cross on that same day.”

Valeria plans to spend the morning as a translator for Red Cross volunteers who are installing fire alarms in homes.

Junior First: Kennedy’s Amelia GrosJacques finds volunteering fulfilling

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Mount Angel Junior First Citizen Amelia GrosJacques.

Mount Angel Junior First Citizen Amelia GrosJacques.

By Kristine Thomas 

Whether it is volunteering or participating at John F. Kennedy High School, Amelia GrosJacques knows what it takes to successfully accomplish a task.

“Teamwork is what gets it done,” she said.

A senior at JFK, Amelia is the Mount Angel Junior First Citizen. “It’s nice to receive recognition for what I have done,” she said. “This award is like a thank you from the community.”

Her volunteer work includes Habitat for Humanity Restore, the Hazelnut Festival, Oktoberfest and Wurstfest. She also volunteers as a referee for youth basketball.

Family run: Woodburn Nursery Mount Angel’s Business of the Year

February 2015 Posted in Business, Community | Comments Off
The Fessler family of Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas: Tom, left, Karen (Jaeger), Sandy (Traeger), Jean and Bob, Jodi (Arritola) and Rick.

The Fessler family of Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas: Tom, left, Karen (Jaeger), Sandy (Traeger), Jean and Bob, Jodi (Arritola) and Rick.

By Brenna Wiegand

Family run, forward-thinking Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas has been named Mount Angel’s 2014 Business of the Year.

Bob and Jean Fessler started out growing berries and raising mink when they married in 1961.

“We went into the nursery business about six years later,” Jean said. “Then we added three more and things just kept ballooning from there.”

Honored: Our Town recognized

February 2015 Posted in Business, Community | Comments Off
The Our Town team (left to right): Office manager Deede Williams, custom publishing graphic designer Steve Beckner, Our Town graphic designer Tavis Bettoli-Lotten, publisher and editor Paula Mabry, and advertising executive Jim Kinghorn.

The Our Town team (left to right): Office manager Deede Williams, custom publishing graphic designer Steve Beckner, Our Town graphic designer Tavis Bettoli-Lotten, publisher and editor Paula Mabry, and advertising executive Jim Kinghorn.

By Mary Owen

Our Town is all about giving people a sense of community.

“We share people’s stories and provide context for their lives,” Publisher Paula Mabry said.

“The day-to-day is important,” she added. “Who’s doing business, who’s volunteering, who’s stepping up to lead, what’s making a difference, that’s the basis of Our Town, and the backbone of our communities.”

Life lessons: Teacher Jim Brueckner to receive Lifetime Achievement award

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Jim Brueckner in his classroom.

Jim Brueckner in his classroom.

By Dixon Bledsoe

When Jim Brueckner started teaching at Silverton High School in 1973, girls didn’t play basketball.

Nationally, Title IX changed that in 1972.  In Silverton, Brueckner did in 1976.

At the first tryout, 90 girls showed up to vie for 30 spots, none having played basketball.   Brueckner and his assistant coach Tom Steers held free camps for girls in 1976 and had their work cut out for them.  Steers subsequently lead the Lady Foxes to two state championships in 1989 and 1994.

Teaching grace: Hazekamp’s Distinguished Service honored

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Marta Hazekamp, center, with students Julia Sessoyeff  and Sophia McElroy.

Marta Hazekamp, center, with students Julia Sessoyeff and Sophia McElroy.

By Dixon Bledsoe

When a 3-year-old boy as asked what AAPAC meant to him, he told his mom “AAPAC means love.”

Love, kindness and instruction are what students receive at AAPAC – the American Academy of Performing Arts Corp.

For her professional and benevolent work, Marta Hazekamp was selected as the Silverton Chamber of Commerce 2014 “Distinguished Service” award winner.

Hazekamp was caught off guard when chamber members surprised her to announce the honor. “To be honored like this is amazing and humbling,” she said.

Volunteerism: Jerri Halter’s many avenues of service applauded

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Jerri Halter

Jerri Halter

By Melissa Wagoner

Jerri Halter couldn’t have been more surprised to find out she was named 2014 Volunteer of the Year by the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce.

“I didn’t believe it. I was surprised. Thoroughly shocked,” she said.

But when asked if it felt good to be recognized, she gave a resounding, “Yes.”

Halter, who was born in Saint Louis, has lived in Mount Angel most of her life.

She worked for 13 years as a bus driver, “blew a whistle” for volleyball games for 15 years and coached for nine, all while bringing up three children.

Oktoberfest Joy: Superintendent kept the fountain flowing

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Mount Angel School District Superintendent Troy Stoops took on volunteer duties and kept downtown’s Oktoberfest Joy fountain operating properly.

Mount Angel School District Superintendent Troy Stoops took on volunteer duties and kept downtown’s Oktoberfest Joy fountain operating properly.

By Brenna Wiegand

Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce has named Troy Stoops a 2014 Volunteer of the Year for his work on the community fountain. Superintendent of the Mount Angel School District, he’s also been the guy who cleans  “Oktoberfest Joy” in the center of town.

He has kept an eye on the fountain and performed monthly maintenance, cleaning the sprays, scrubbing the base and tending to the operating system year round.

Project driven: Jim Kosel

February 2015 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off
Jim Kosel

Jim Kosel

By Melissa Wagoner

When Jim and Martha Kosel moved to Mount Angel from Oregon City seven years ago, they made a pact to attend every town function and not leave until they met at least one other couple. They also agreed that they wouldn’t join anything.

It was an agreement that didn’t last.

Jim is a member of the city’s budget committee, served on the Charter Committee; is involved in the American Legion and the Boys and Girls State committee; is credited with rewriting the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce bylaws; and together the couple co-chair the committee to maintain the downtown  kiosk. Jim also serves on the chamber’s Wurstfest Committee.

In the driver’s seat: SHS basketball

February 2015 Posted in School, Sports | Comments Off

James DayBy James Day

The Silverton High boys basketball team turned in perhaps its most complete performance of the season Tuesday night, taking a convincing 64-37 Mid-Willamette Conference win at Crescent Valley High School.

The win moved the Foxes, ranked No. 3 in Class 5A by the OSAA, to 9-0 in league play, heading into a crucial stretch of the season that includes games Friday, Feb. 13 at 6-3 Corvallis and Feb. 20 at 5-4 Central.

“This one was a big one,” Coach Steve Roth told Our Town after the 27-point dismantling of the Raiders.

Man About Town: Time… For 20 minutes of fame

February 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off

Man About TownBy Jim Kinghorn

To go or not to go, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to attend the Silverton Poetry Festival…..Feb. 27–March 1 at a variety of area locations. The 15th annual festival will feature workshops, free public readings and open mic sessions. The Man doesn’t know about you but the festival sounds like a whole lot more fun than the “suffering slings and arrows” thing…. For information, dates and times, go to silvertonpoetry.net