Something Fun: Perfecting a Palace – New amenities with theater’s reopening

May 2021 Posted in Community, Food & Drink, People | Comments Off on Something Fun: Perfecting a Palace – New amenities with theater’s reopening

By Melissa Wagoner

There’s never been a better time to go to the theater – at least according to Rachelle Gonterman – manager of the Silverton Palace Theater.

“COVID has everybody tired of being cooped up at home,” she said. “But a lot of people don’t know we’re open.”

Taking over the theater in October 2020, Rachelle and her husband, Erik, had yet to show a single movie until April 9 when they screened The Croods: A New Age as their grand opening feature.

A welcoming spirit – Benedictine Brewery hosts O’fest food favorites

May 2021 Posted in Community, Food & Drink | Comments Off on A welcoming spirit – Benedictine Brewery hosts O’fest food favorites

By Melissa Wagoner

For those who have missed their favorite Oktoberfest treats during the past 16 months, now is your chance to indulge, as the Benedictine Brewery in Mount Angel hosts a line-up of iconic Oktoberfest food carts this summer.

“Part of our mission is helping the community,” brewery manager Nicole McCall said of the impetus to invite the booths. The majority are run by nonprofits that traditionally rely heavily on the funds raised during the annual festival.

“It’ll help the booths,” McCall confirmed. “And they need the help.”

Arts & Entertainment: Art shift – Silverton Art Association broadens vision for annual festival

May 2021 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community | Comments Off on Arts & Entertainment: Art shift – Silverton Art Association broadens vision for annual festival

By Melissa Wagoner

Known for many creative activities for all ages, the Silverton Fine Arts Festival – last held in 2019- has been rechristened Silverton Arts Festival

The mission of the Silverton Arts Association has long been to further the arts through education, promotion and exhibition.

“But we’re struggling,” board member Harold Wood admitted. “Everyone is underground in their basement.”

In short, 2020 was a tough year for artists.

“With the pandemic, we lost our stage,” Wood said. “There’s no show-and-tell anymore. I think a lot of artists do what they do to show people, I have value, I’m creative. And then when you put the pandemic into it, that diminishes.”

Mt. Angel board names finalists for district’s next superintendent

May 2021 Posted in Community, People, School | Comments Off on Mt. Angel board names finalists for district’s next superintendent

After completing a multi-state search that began with 26 applicants and included an application screening and initial round of interviews, the Mt. Angel School District’s Board of Directors has announced two finalists have been selected for further consideration to be the next superintendent for the district. The public is invirted to meet the candidates May 17, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. at Kennedy High School, 890 E. Marquam St., Mt. Angel. The candidates are:

Allen Barber

Helping Hands: Operation vaccination – Legacy invests in pop-up clinics

May 2021 Posted in Business, Community, Your Health | Comments Off on Helping Hands: Operation vaccination – Legacy invests in pop-up clinics

By Brenna Wiegand

Pop-up vaccine clinics Legacy Health at Coleman Farms

Pop-up vaccine clinics Legacy Health at Coleman Farms. Brenna Wiegand

When the COVID-19 vaccine first became available in late December, Legacy Silverton Medical Center opened a clinic and started providing vaccines, first to primary care providers, then teachers. By January’s end about 5,000 people had been vaccinated at the Silverton campus.

Not long after the vaccine became available to the general public, it became clear that some key populations in Woodburn were being underserved.

Letters to the Editor: Thank you, Silverton

May 2021 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: Thank you, Silverton

A campaign is a journey… I began this journey because I am a father of two and know our schools play an integral part of the health and well-being of all kids. Silverton is uniquely positioned to keep doing great things; and I am on this journey because we have a supportive community that believes in our collective potential.

I see this in the entrepreneurial spirit that comes from our small businesses and farming communities – the history is in the soil and in the hands of the workers.

Letters to the Editor: There’s more to the tree story

May 2021 Posted in Community, Other | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: There’s more to the tree story

I must say that I was more than a little dismayed when I read the article in the May 1 edition of Our Town entitled, “Storm damaged trees can remain a hazard.”

The story, along with the accompanying photograph of the storm-damaged tree along B Street showing Trinity Lutheran Church in the background, seemed to imply that somehow the congregation had been negligent by not removing the tree, thereby leaving a public hazard.

Letters to the Editor: Mantie for school board

May 2021 Posted in Community, Other, People, School | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: Mantie for school board

I am writing this letter in support of Stephanie Mantie for the Silver Falls School Board, zone 4. Stephanie has all the qualities that would make an excellent board member. She is smart, well spoken, cares greatly about kids and has a desire to do what’s best for all kids in our district if she is elected.

Letters to the Editor: Support for Stephanie

May 2021 Posted in Community, Other, People, School | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: Support for Stephanie

We have had the privilege of knowing Stephanie Mantie for 20 years. We served together in our church youth group for many years. We have witnessed her raise her kids, serve others, and interact in the community. We cannot recommend her enough for the position on the school board.

She is a person of immense integrity.
We have witnessed her in situations of conflict. Her ability to remain thoughtful, kind hearted, and willing to see the
other side of things was constant and impressive. She cares deeply for all people.

Denise Marie Totland (Sept. 7, 1962 – April 27, 2021)

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Obituary | Comments Off on Denise Marie Totland (Sept. 7, 1962 – April 27, 2021)
Denise Totland

Denise Totland

Denise Marie (Howes) Totland, 58, passed away peacefully on April 27, 2021. A graveside memorial service will be held in Silverton on Saturday, May 22, 2021, under the direction of Unger Funeral Home. Visit ungerfuneralchapel.com for details.

Denise was born in Burns, Oregon on Sept. 7, 1962 to Don and Theresa Howes. She grew up in Ontario, Oregon where she graduated in 1980. Denise went on to beauty school in Boise, Idaho. She then moved to Salem, Oregon.

Denise devoted her life to loving and caring for her daughters. She worked as a medical assistant in various practices over the last 30 years. Most recently, she worked at Rite Aid Pharmacy.

David Jorgenson (Nov. 25, 1952 – April 26, 2021)

May 2021 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on David Jorgenson (Nov. 25, 1952 – April 26, 2021)
David Jorgenson

David Jorgenson

David Jorgenson, 68 passed away April 26, 2021 at his residence with his family by his side. He was born in Silverton on Nov. 25, 1952 to Vincent and Frankie Jorgenson. David is survived by his wife Donna Jorgenson.

David had three siblings: Doug
Jorgenson, Chris Jorgenson Rettig and Gina Jorgenson; four children: Sarah Kuenzi, Neil Jorgenson, Ryan Jorgenson, and Erin Bleakney; 11 grandchildren: Michael Kuenzi, Julia Kuenzi, Anna Kuenzi and Matthew Kuenzi, Liesl and Finn Jorgenson, Evelyn, Alison and Mason Jorgenson, Ben and Thomas Bleakney; and one great-granddaughter, Katie.

David’s fondest memories were teaching

Mary Ann Miles (Oct. 29, 1934 – May 5, 2021)

May 2021 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Mary Ann Miles (Oct. 29, 1934 – May 5, 2021)

Mary Ann Miles, 86, of Silverton passed away peacefully on May 5, 2021. Mary Ann was born on Oct. 29, 1934 in Portland, the daughter of William (Bill) H. Jr. and Melba Woodard. She moved with her parents to her family home in Silverton shortly after her birth. She was raised in Silverton and graduated from Silverton High School in 1952. She married Wendell Roy Miles in Kentucky in 1954 while he was stationed there for basic military training. They moved back to Silverton upon his discharge from the Army in 1957.

Rodney Weston Kilcup (Feb. 11, 1937 – April 21, 2021)

May 2021 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Rodney Weston Kilcup (Feb. 11, 1937 – April 21, 2021)
Kilcup, Rodney

Rodney Kilcup

Rodney Weston Kilcup of Silverton succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease on April 21, 2021. He died in peace and at home, surrounded by the love of his family. He is dearly missed by those whose lives he touched.

Rodney was born in Hoquiam, Washington in 1937 to Horace and Winnifred Kilcup.

He studied history at the University of Washington – the first in his family to pursue higher education. He later earned a PhD in history at Harvard University and began a career as a history professor serving at universities including the University of Chicago, the University of Washington, and the University of Notre Dame.

Looking Back: If these stones could talk – Discovering a local Civil War veteran

May 2021 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, People | Comments Off on Looking Back: If these stones could talk – Discovering a local Civil War veteran

By Brenna Wiegand

Theobald Kirsch

Theobald Kirsch

Theobold & Theresa (Von Hatten) Kirsch

Theobald & Theresa (Von Hatten) Kirsch

Jim Kosel was going through memorabilia at Mount Angel American Legion Post #89 when he came across four documents related to Civil War
veteran Theobald Kirsch.

These original documents record
Kirsch’s entry and discharge from the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, making him one of the oldest veterans in either of the two St. Mary’s cemeteries in Mount Angel.

People Out Loud: A salute to ‘Captain A’ – Plus the hum of a rebounding community

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People | Comments Off on People Out Loud: A salute to ‘Captain A’ – Plus the hum of a rebounding community

I remember meeting Arland Anderson as a lowly freshman in high school in 1966. He was a junior and one imposing figure – larger than life. Standing about 6’4″ and not “diminutive”, he had a booming voice, and huge and infectious smile, and seemed to get along with everyone.

We both played basketball and got to scrimmage a bit together. He was the captain of the varsity basketball team and I was a lowly freshman who came off the freshman bench with splinters when the game was a runaway.

Something for the Soul: Local labyrinths

May 2021 Posted in Community, Other, People | Comments Off on Something for the Soul: Local labyrinths

By Melissa Wagoner

Celebration encourages community to take long way ‘round

Labyrinth at the Shalom Prayer Center - courtesy of Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer

Labyrinth at the Shalom Prayer Center – courtesy of Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer

Each year on the first Saturday in May, people across the globe take part in a form of moving meditation known as “walk as one at 1,” in honor of world peace. Utilizing labyrinths – those meandering single-pathed designs constructed to promote personal, spiritual and psychological transformation – World Labyrinth Day unites people in parks, churches, schools, prisons, and even backyards, in a celebration of the labyrinth experience. 

Virtual concerts set at Mount Angel Abbey

May 2021 Posted in Community, Other | Comments Off on Virtual concerts set at Mount Angel Abbey

The Willamette Master Chorus will perform Spring Concerts, Sacred Music on Sundays, May 2 and 16 at Mount Angel Abbey. The concert will be made available to stream online.

While the chorus cannot participate as a large group in the church, they are able to capture some incredible sounds at this beloved site. 

Accompanist Debra Huddleston will join the WMC by pre-recording on the great organ in the gallery and the choir loft’s smaller organ. 

Mark Twain oaks – Community members turn out in droves to replant trees

May 2021 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Mark Twain oaks – Community members turn out in droves to replant trees

By Melissa Wagoner

When horticulturist Eric Hammond, heard that the majority of the oak trees in a grove adjacent to Mark Twain Elementary School were removed after the February ice storm, he saw an opportunity. 

“I sent emails explaining the importance of the oaks from an ecological standpoint and a social standpoint,” Hammond said of the communication he initiated with the Silver Falls School District. 

“I said, the district should also take advantage of it from an educational standpoint.”

Storm damaged trees can remain a hazard

May 2021 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Storm damaged trees can remain a hazard

By James Day

This ice storm-damaged tree on B Street finally was taken down in mid-April. Trees that still appear to be a public hazard can be reported to the city for assessment.

This ice storm-damaged tree on B Street finally was taken down in mid-April. Trees that still appear to be a public hazard can be reported to the city for assessment.

Yes, the ice storm has passed and most of the debris has been taken care of. But what do you do if you see signs in your neighborhood of a tree that is failing?

The first person to call, said interim City Manager Bob Willoughby, is Sean Farris.

Something Fun: Pet Parade update – 2021 event a definite maybe

May 2021 Posted in Community, People, Pets | Comments Off on Something Fun: Pet Parade update – 2021 event a definite maybe

By Melissa Wagoner

“The Pet Parade is scheduled for May 15 at 10 a.m., as normal,” Randal Thomas – a member of the Kiwanis Club of Silverton and chairman of the parade – said, adding it will go on as long as Marion County is not in Oregon’s Extreme Risk level for  COVID-19 on that date. 

Canceled in 2020 for the first time since its inception in 1934, the Silverton Pet Parade is a tradition like no other.

“It is your quintessential small-town event,” Thomas confirmed. Adding, “It’s not just for kids. We have adults in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older. We had a woman whose dog won one year and she was in her 80s.”

Answering the call: Neighboring fire districts team up to vaccinate public

May 2021 Posted in Community, News, People, Your Health | Comments Off on Answering the call: Neighboring fire districts team up to vaccinate public

By Melissa Wagoner

Victor Hoffer vaccinating Mayor Don Fleck with the 2000th vaccination since the MAFD began vaccinating -- courtesy of Victor Hoffer

Victor Hoffer vaccinating Mayor Don Fleck with the 2000th vaccination since the MAFD began vaccinating — courtesy of Victor Hoffer

What started as the Mt. Angel Fire District (MAFD) providing COVID-19 vaccinations to their own paramedics and firefighters this February, quickly grew as they reached out to other districts – Silverton, Woodburn, Lyons and Mill City among them – to provide vaccines.

“We ended up doing around 400 first responders,” Fire Chief Jim Trierweiler said. “Fortunately for us, we’re already trained in that. It was simply reading up and learning the indications and contraindications. Being EMTs and paramedics we already give injections. In the early days it was mobile, we went to someone’s drill night.”

Something to Talk About: The time is now – Planning for future wildfires shouldn’t be delayed

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, Outdoor Life | Comments Off on Something to Talk About: The time is now – Planning for future wildfires shouldn’t be delayed

By Melissa Wagoner

Weeks out from the official start of summer and fire experts are already warning Oregonians of another potentially difficult fire season. Which is why Carrie Berger, a fire program manager with the OSU Extension service, has recently partnered with both state and local agencies to launch a series of webinars titled, “Fire Aware. Fire Prepared,” to help get communities ready.

“Last summer’s wildfire events impacted most Oregonians and we learned that everyone living in Oregon should be prepared for a wildfire emergency,” Berger said.

Datebook – May 2021

May 2021 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Datebook – May 2021

Datebook Submission Information

Get your events and fundraisers published in Our Town. If your ongoing event was canceled because of COVID-19 and is starting up again, please send a new listing. If you are meeting by Zoom or virtually, send those, too. Send your releases to datebook@mtangelpub.com. Or drop them off at 401 Oak St., Silverton.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Weekly Events

Monday

SACA Food Pantry, 9 a.m. – noon, SACA, 421 S Water St., Silverton. Repeats Thursdays. 503-873-3446, silvertonareacommunityaid.org

Mt. Angel Community & Senior Center Store, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 195 E Charles St. Repeats Tuesday – Saturday. Volunteers needed. 503-845-6998

Silver Falls School District names Melissa Linder Silver Crest principal

May 2021 Posted in Briefs, Community, News, School | Comments Off on Silver Falls School District names Melissa Linder Silver Crest principal

Silver Falls School District has announced the selection of  Melissa Linder as the new principal for Silver Crest School and district assistant director of teaching and learning.

Her first day will be July 1. Linder’s selection followed a process of community and staff input; a writing assessment; a case study analysis presentation; town hall sessions with community and staff members; and multiple interviews with senior district leadership. 

“We are so excited to have Melissa Linder join our team in SFSD,” said Superintendent Scott Drue. “She is an instructional leader of the highest order. Melissa has a proven leadership track record of adding value to those she serves.”

Lunaria reveals ‘Neo Geo’ in May

May 2021 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Briefs, Community | Comments Off on Lunaria reveals ‘Neo Geo’ in May

Lunaria Gallery presents Neo Geo, a show by Lunaria painter Jane Castelan Buccola and jeweler Dawn Hemstreet. 

Buccola’s painting involves exploration, personal expression, play, experimentation with color as well as texture.  She likes to bring mystery and an abiguousness to her work in order to allow the viewer to form their own interpretation.

Hemstreet is drawn to Scandinavian modernist jewelry from the 1970s. She wanted to see if metal clay hollow forms could be created that would have modernist shapes as well as texture since most modernist jewelry was created without stones or texture. 

Letters to the Editor: Support for ‘supermom’ in school board election

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People, School | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: Support for ‘supermom’ in school board election

We wholeheartedly endorse Melissa Seifer Briggs for Silver Falls School Board. Melissa is an experienced attorney, most recently with the Oregon Judicial Department, and a Silverton native. She and her husband, David Briggs, have five young children, ages 12 to 3. Melissa is devoted to all children, especially those who may be disadvantaged or at risk. The depth and breadth of her experience with public schools is so impressive – Melissa is all in when it comes to students.

Letters to the Editor: A ‘fresh voice’ for school board

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People, School | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: A ‘fresh voice’ for school board

want to express my support for Stephanie Mantie for a position on the Silver Falls School Board. She has the intellect and background that would greatly benefit our school district at this time.   

Stephanie has been actively involved in our local schools and has built solid relationships with our diverse community. She believes that the school district needs to be an active partner with our parents in providing the education to our students.   

Stephanie will provide a fresh voice and perspective as the district moves back to full in-person learning and moves beyond this troubling time for our district.  

Letters to the Editor: ‘Thrilled’ advocates for Mantie

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People | Comments Off on Letters to the Editor: ‘Thrilled’ advocates for Mantie

We have had the privilege of knowing Stephanie Mantie for 20 years. We served together in our church youth group for many years. We have witnessed her raise her kids, serve others, and interact in the community. We cannot recommend her enough for the position on the school board. 

She is a person of immense integrity. We have witnessed her in situations of conflict. Her ability to remain thoughtful, kind-hearted, and willing to see the other side of things was constant and impressive. She cares deeply for all people. 

Collaborators: Silverton Service Integration Team welcomes more participation

May 2021 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Collaborators: Silverton Service Integration Team welcomes more participation

By Melissa Wagoner 

Members of the Santiam Service Integration Team staff. Courtesy of Melissa Baurer

Members of the Santiam Service Integration Team staff. Courtesy of Melissa Baurer

What happens when a graduating senior can’t afford a class ring? What about when a mom needs new tires for her car in order to transport her sick child to medical appointments – is there funding for that? And if there is, where does it come from?

Steady Path: Trail Keepers of Oregon expands its mission to Silver Falls

May 2021 Posted in Outdoor Life | Comments Off on Steady Path: Trail Keepers of Oregon expands its mission to Silver Falls

By Melissa Wagoner

Installation of gabions on Maple Ridge Trail. Arthur Mills

Installation of gabions on Maple Ridge Trail. Arthur Mills

There are thousands of hiking trails in Oregon, many of them almost a century old and most of them maintained by volunteers – such as those organized by Trail Keepers of Oregon (TKO).

“We do trail maintenance and repair for state parks and national parks,” volunteer and Silver Falls State Park Crew Leader Arthur Mills explained. “The people who started it were a bunch of hikers working on an abandoned trail on Mt. Hood.”

Remembering Tom Dill

May 2021 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Remembering Tom Dill

The Friends of Silver Falls State Park, and the community at large, have lost a dedicated and much-loved volunteer. Tom Dill passed on April 4, 2021. He will be ever so greatly missed by all.

Tom spent many hours at the Park as a Trail Ambassador, Nature Store Volunteer, and supporter of the preservation of the Stone Shelter. He and his wife Ann Marie were at every event at the Park helping out and spreading good camaraderie.

He served on the Board of Directors, often offering a fresh point of view.

Jerome Francis Donahe (Aug. 14, 1937 – April 17, 2021)

May 2021 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Jerome Francis Donahe (Aug. 14, 1937 – April 17, 2021)

Jerome Francis (Jerry or J. F.) Donahe, of Silverton, passed in the early morning hours of April 17 in Salem, Oregon. 

He was born Aug. 14, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois to Bernard Anthony and Thelma Sophia (Follesvold) Donahe. An older sister, Joanne, greeted him and he was followed by a younger sister, Selene.

At the age of 11, he moved with his family to Sweet Home, Oregon, where he graduated from high school. He served as senior class president, was active in the music program, and lettered in football, basketball and baseball. After attending Pacific Lutheran University (where he played football and baseball), he worked for a short time at Boeing, living near Seattle, and then enjoyed a very prosperous career in financial services with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Thrivent Lutheran Brotherhood while living in West Linn and Lake Oswego. 

Cruz Arce (May 3, 1945 – April 10, 2021)

May 2021 Posted in Obituary | Comments Off on Cruz Arce (May 3, 1945 – April 10, 2021)

Cruz Arce, 75 passed away on April 10, 2021, at her residence with family by her side.

She was born in Edinburg, Texas on May 5, 1945, to Antonio Arce and Maria Magdalena Perez. She was the second oldest of 12 children.

Cruz enjoyed family time, dancing and cooking for the family.

Cruz is survived by her children: Nora Benavidez, Deanida Benavidez, Francisco Benavidez, Sara Benavidez, Dora Linda Cortez, and Jesus Antonio Garza; 14 grandchildren,15 great-grandchildren with two on the way; siblings Antonio Garza, Jose Arce, Susie Guarjardo, Juan Arce, Juanita Leach, Antonio Arce Jr. and Una Arce.

COVID Lessons: Foxes football coach looks back

May 2021 Posted in Community, Sports | Comments Off on COVID Lessons: Foxes football coach looks back

James DayWeird high school football season, wasn’t it? Games in March and April. COVID postponements.

The record shows that Silverton finished 3-2, while having its annual showdown with West Albany postponed because of a Silverton outbreak. But it was a season full of highlights and accomplishment, said fourth-year head coach Josh Craig.

“Highlights would be how mentally tough the team stayed through all the adversity and the positive attitudes they exhibited,” Craig said. “We played a tough schedule, which was really good for us I think and the guys embraced that. We also hung tough during a very shaky offseason and other challenges throughout a wacky year.”

A Grin at the End: Duck-duck-boom – Ideas to solve the world’s problems

May 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion | Comments Off on A Grin at the End: Duck-duck-boom – Ideas to solve the world’s problems

It’s been a busy year for the researchers here at Sampson Laboratories (motto: You can never do too much useless stuff).

One of our intrepid scientists is coming up with an easier way to make carbon fiber parts for airplanes. I’m not really sure how it was supposed to work but I think it involves using Bungee cords to tie 40 microwave ovens to the plane’s wing and using the “defrost” mode.

As Elon Musk says, “Every time we blow something up we learn something.” That being the case, we’re learning lots of stuff.

Hiccup: Silverton Road bridge work might be delayed

April 2021 Posted in News | Comments Off on Hiccup: Silverton Road bridge work might be delayed
Logs can be seen from the trees that were felled for utility line relocation on the Silverton Road bridge over the Little Pudding River. The bridge is being replaced and there will be detours around the work for approximately seven months starting about May 1. James Day

Logs can be seen from the trees that were felled for utility line relocation on the Silverton Road bridge over the Little Pudding River. The bridge is being replaced and there will be detours around the work for approximately seven months starting about May 1. James Day

By James Day

The Marion County work on the bridge over the Little Pudding River between Silverton and Salem has been delayed slightly.

County officials originally hoped that the detours required for the lengthy project would be in place by May 1. But a shortage of poles for the project’s temporary signal lights is making that date more of a moving target, said Steve Preszler, project manager with the county.

The COVID season: Kennedy football produces most compelling story

April 2021 Posted in Sports | Comments Off on The COVID season: Kennedy football produces most compelling story

James DayBy James Day

The season of fall sports in the spring is over, and for the most part things turned out all right. Most of the games were played. Soccer and volleyball squads played legitimate league seasons. Small school cross country teams put on a state championship meet.

Good for them. The thing about a crisis like COVID is that it tests people and their resilience. I’d like to think we learned a thing or two along the way. 

I saw five football games and one soccer match. In all six occasions the temperature was at 45 degrees or below when the event concluded. So much for spring. Almost no spectators. But still lots of excitement. 

Farm-zilla: Spring sign-up time for farm fresh produce

April 2021 Posted in Garden | Comments Off on Farm-zilla: Spring sign-up time for farm fresh produce

By Melissa Wagoner

Farm-zilla Spring sign-up time for farm fresh produce

Farm-zilla is the newest CSA farm option in the community. Submitted photo.

Brenda Sparks is a farmer at heart. Raised in California by horticulturist parents on a small, five-acre farm, she grew up helping in the fields, selling vegetables at the local Farmer’s Market and raising animals through 4-H and FFA. 

“Farming is very therapeutic for me as a mother of four kids,” she said. “It energizes me and is my self-care.”

Starting this spring, Sparks will begin sharing her joy for growing things with the community around her through a newly developed Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

The Good, the bad, the lessons: Looking back over a year of the pandemic

April 2021 Posted in Community | Comments Off on The Good, the bad, the lessons: Looking back over a year of the pandemic

By Melissa Wagoner

One year ago, April Newton and her husband Tom were at a medical conference in Hawaii when he received some sobering news – Oregon had its first confirmed positive case of the new coronavirus disease.

“We spent a blissful week on Kuai… but we were there with a big group of doctors and lots of discussions about what was about to happen took place,” Newton wrote in a Facebook post commemorating the one-year anniversary of that trip. “I clearly remember Tom telling me one night to prepare myself because this was going to be a big deal and last more than a few weeks.”

Taking to the air: Radio control airplane club finds Silverton home

March 2021 Posted in People | Comments Off on Taking to the air: Radio control airplane club finds Silverton home
Don DeYoe holds Jerry Hall’s F-82 during a test run at the Holden/Bevens Flying Field on Old Mt. Angel Highway outside of Silverton.

Don DeYoe holds Jerry Hall’s F-82 during a test run at the Holden/Bevens Flying Field on Old Mt. Angel Highway outside of Silverton.

By Brenna Wiegand

It is no picnic for an RC airplane to find its place in the sun these days.

“Our situation is so special,” Bob Bevens, founding member of Keizer Radio Control Association, said. “We need a certain amount of land for flying; we’ve got to park and at times accommodate the public.”

When the club needed a new home several years ago, Silverton nurseryman Verl Holden stepped up to help. They scouted his property and found a spot.

Arbor days: Tree experts weigh in on tree care following devastating storm

March 2021 Posted in News | Comments Off on Arbor days: Tree experts weigh in on tree care following devastating storm

By Melissa Wagoner

Within hours of the ice storm horticulturist Eric Hammond began walking, covering as many miles of Silverton’s streets as he could, cataloging the trees – the ones that were damaged, the ones that were toppled and the ones that made it through relatively unscathed.

“I’m up to 3,300 different survey points and 130 different species,” Hammond said. “Fully 50 percent of what I see has got moderate to severe damage. And I’m only surveying the planted trees. The wild trees are their own thing to talk about. They were here before us and it’s sort of on us if we built a house there.”

Santiam Hospital offers saliva test for Covid-19

March 2021 Posted in Your Health | Comments Off on Santiam Hospital offers saliva test for Covid-19

By Mary Owen

Santiam Hospital introduces SalivaDirect, a less expensive, less invasive and safer way to test for COVID-19.

“It’s kind of remarkable that our little lab in Stayton, Oregon, is using this test,” said Dr. Janine VanSant, infectious disease specialist. “We are one of the few labs in the Pacific Northwest using it.”

Dr. Sarah Comstock, a molecular biologist from Corban University in Salem, got the ball rolling last April. In the spring of 2020, Comstock found herself with excess time due to few on-campus students, so she began to use her research equipment to develop an FDA EUA (emergency use authorization) test for coronavirus.

Trial by ice: Neighbors, services unite in the face of shared adversity

March 2021 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off on Trial by ice: Neighbors, services unite in the face of shared adversity
An old oak near St. Edward's Church in Silverton by the February ice storm. Photo courtesy Steve Canning.

An old oak near St. Edward’s Church in Silverton by the February ice storm. Photo courtesy Steve Canning.

By Melissa Wagoner

When residents of the mid-Willamette Valley awoke to a world covered in a beautiful blown glass tapestry of ice on the morning of Feb. 12, they would have been hard pressed to imagine the destruction that would be unleashed only a few hours later. A night of freeing rain replaced the morning quiet with the sound of snapping trees, exploding electrical transformers and arcing power lines that set the evening sky ablaze in a lightning of blue and green.

Making Silverton better: Encouraging diverse voices is one step

February 2021 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Making Silverton better: Encouraging diverse voices is one step

By Melissa Wagoner

It was a happy accident when John Pattison stumbled upon the town of Silverton on Christmas Eve 2009. But it wasn’t an accident he stayed.

“My wife Kate and I both grew up in smaller towns,” Pattison explained. “We were living in Portland and felt drawn back to rural life. But we also wanted to stay close to family in Portland and Salem. Over the course of about 18 months, we looked at seemingly every small town in the Willamette Valley – or so we thought, because somehow Silverton was never on our radar.”

Land stewardship: Mount Angel native plants white oaks on farm

February 2021 Posted in Community, People | Comments Off on Land stewardship: Mount Angel native plants white oaks on farm
Kurt Berning and Katie Doyle planting white oak seedlings on Bernging’s family farm in Mount Angel. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

Kurt Berning and Katie Doyle planting white oak seedlings on Bernging’s family farm in Mount Angel. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Welcoming the new year looked a lot different for Kurt Berning and his fiancé Katie Doyle this year. Instead of party hats and streamers, the couple awoke early, donned their rain gear and headed out into the drizzle to plant over 500 white oak tree seedlings.

Vaccinated: Health professionals discuss their decisions and experiences

February 2021 Posted in Community, Your Health | Comments Off on Vaccinated: Health professionals discuss their decisions and experiences

By Melissa Wagoner

When Brian Reif – a clinical nurse who works directly with COVID patients – was offered the COVID-19 vaccine as a member of the tier one medical community, he did not hesitate to roll up his sleeve, likening his participation to a patriotic duty.

“What we have achieved to create and now deliver, a novel vaccine in such a short period of time, is a testament to what we can do through collective will and when we work together,” he said.  For him it was an emotional experience. “Our efforts to fight COVID should be unifying and not divisive because we all want the same thing.”

Fun run for John: Mount Angel family raises funds for son’s kidney transplant

January 2021 Posted in People | Comments Off on Fun run for John: Mount Angel family raises funds for son’s kidney transplant
Patty, John and Mike Kloft on their farm, Lonely Lane Farms – courtesy of Evelyn Shoop.

Patty, John and Mike Kloft on their farm, Lonely Lane Farms – courtesy of Evelyn Shoop.

By Melissa Wagoner

When seven-year-old John Kloft told his parents he had pain in his side in May of 2020 they assumed he had appendicitis.

“We took him to his normal Physician’s Assistant, Brianna Brooks in Silverton,” John’s parents, Mike and Patty Kloft, wrote in a recent press release chronicling the family’s journey.

“She sent us for more tests because John’s symptoms seemed a little odd.”

It’s lucky she did. To everyone’s surprise, John’s appendix looked great. His kidneys, however, did not.

Making music: Soundstream studio produces album by Silverton teen

January 2021 Posted in Arts, Culture & History | Comments Off on Making music: Soundstream studio produces album by Silverton teen
Matt-Alex Raney – photo by Corey Christensen

Matt-Alex Raney – photo by Corey Christensen

By Melissa Wagoner

On Jan. 1, 2021 Matt-Alex Raney released his first album, If We’re Being Honest – 13 tracks inspired by classic country and written by Raney himself.

“I’ve never been much for talking and communicating,” 17-year-old Raney confessed, “Music really helps me put all those ideas and feelings into words and music. I can express everything I think and feel through that rather than talking.”

Produced with the help of Soundstream, a music studio located in downtown Silverton, If We’re Being Honest is the record that almost didn’t happen. In fact, Raney’s entire music career was very nearly extinguished before it even got off the ground.

Emergencies are inevitable: So, why don’t we prepare?

January 2021 Posted in Other | Comments Off on Emergencies are inevitable: So, why don’t we prepare?
Dale Kunce.   Melissa Wagoner

Dale Kunce. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

The Red Cross mantras, “disaster can strike at any time” and “disaster preparedness starts with you” are by no means new messages, yet they still go largely ignored by a large segment of the population, even as devastating hurricanes and wildfires tear across the country.
The question is – why is that?

“It’s hard to think about,” Dale Kunce, the Chief Executive Officer for the Cascades Region of the Red Cross told Our Town in a recent interview. “And a lot of people – they don’t know what the first step to take is.”

Gift in creativity: Artisans offer unique gift options, easy way to support local small businesses

November 2020 Posted in Arts, Culture & History | Comments Off on Gift in creativity: Artisans offer unique gift options, easy way to support local small businesses
Employee Kaitlyn Maley at Apples to Oranges, Silverton's yarn shop. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

Employee Kaitlyn Maley at Apples to Oranges, Silverton’s yarn shop. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

“Artists are really struggling with the restrictions due to COVID-19,” photographer Vivienne Frankel said. “Art shows and fairs have closed; galleries are open fewer hours and people have less disposable income. As the time has passed, artists are feeling the brunt. Most of us were not eligible for small business loans being sole proprietors and also did not receive unemployment as business owners.”

There is something the community can do: purchase gifts locally this holiday season.

Silver Creek Fellowship packs 5,000 relief kits

October 2020 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Silver Creek Fellowship packs 5,000 relief kits
Silver Creek Fellowship. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

Silver Creek Fellowship. Photo by Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

When the wildfires swept through Oregon on Labor Day, Kaiser Permanente immediately leapt into action, contacting the Red Cross and asking how the organization could help. But it wasn’t because it provides health care – though the company’s providers continued that important work throughout the days and weeks following the devastation, even while many of them were evacuated or had experienced loss themselves. Rather, it was because of Kaiser Permanente’s dedication to community care.

Silverton Lions and Silverton Elks run Gates field kitchen as part of wildfire relief effort

October 2020 Posted in Community | Comments Off on Silverton Lions and Silverton Elks run Gates field kitchen as part of wildfire relief effort
Lions Club Breakfast. Photo by Ward Frederick.

Lions Club Breakfast. Photo by Ward Frederick.

By Melissa Wagoner

When Ward Frederick decided to open a field kitchen in Gates in the days following the Beachie Creek fire, he knew he could fund the venture for right around one week, tops. But after that…he wasn’t so sure.

“It was kind of like, ‘If you build it, they will come,’” he laughed, quoting the movie, Field of Dreams.

And so, focused on that initial one-week goal, Frederick contacted the Silverton Lions Club and the Silverton Elks Lodge – both of which he is a member.

Banding together: Reflecting on community in wildfires’ wake

October 2020 Posted in Community, News | Comments Off on Banding together: Reflecting on community in wildfires’ wake
Mount Angel’s Magnolia Grill crew delivering food to frontline workers.

Mount Angel’s Magnolia Grill crew delivering food to frontline workers. Submitted Photo

By Melissa Wagoner

“Helping is easy. Being on the receiving end is difficult.”

Sheila Zervas Nielsen, a teacher at Silverton High School and resident of Gates, knows what she is talking about.

She, along with her husband Steve, also a Silver Falls School District employee, and their three sons, evacuated from their home on Sept. 7 escaping wildfires whipped up by a once-in-a-century windstorm that was racing through the Santiam Canyon. Then they began the process of volunteering wherever they could in order to save the homes of others.

Something to Do: Eco-bin-go – Sustainable Silverton makes switching to Earth-saving habits fun

May 2021 Posted in Community, Other | Comments Off on Something to Do: Eco-bin-go – Sustainable Silverton makes switching to Earth-saving habits fun

By Melissa Wagoner

Sustainable-Silverton-members-Mike-Ashland-and-Karen-Garst-dressed-up-for-the-batteries-and-bones-recycling-and-composting-initiative

Sustainable Silverton members-Mike Ashland and Karen Garst-dressed-up-for-the-batteries-and-bones-recycling-and-composting-initiative

Making the changes needed to live a more sustainable life can feel overwhelming, which is why the members of the group Sustainable Silverton have come up with an easy, fun way for community members to make five simple changes over the next six months.

“Beyond Bins is what we’re calling our project,” Elyce Hues said of
the group’s 2021 initiative, a city-wide Bingo game composed of 25 squares, each with a different environmentally friendly action.