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Penny’s journey – After nine years (nine lives?) cat returned home

By Melissa Wagoner Bobbie the Wonder Dog may have met his match in the form of Penny, Pratum Elementary School’s Christmas cat. “[Y]ou just can’t make this stuff up,” Pratum Elementary School teacher Lisa Freauff said of the story, which began during the Christmas break of 2021 when she heard a cat “yelling” from the empty school’s supply room. “That’s really the […]

Historical Society plans in-person annual meeting

The Silverton Country Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at the Silverton Senior Center Saturday, Jan. 22, 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The meeting will begin with reports on membership, finances and election of new board members. There will also be a recap of the many activities the historical society is working on. This year’s program will […]

On the wing – Birding gets hobbysts out in all weather

By Melissa Wagoner When Richard Niemeyer bought his wife, Debbie, a pair of binoculars in 2011 he never could have imagined the impact the gift would have on both of their lives.  “It wasn’t a particularly expensive pair,” Debbie said of the gift. “But one of the first things I saw was an osprey.” Still one of the couple’s favorite […]

A letter to Stu – Former mayor led the way

Dear Stu, Well, you did it! Congratulations! You lived your life start to finish, front to back, side to side the way you saw fit. You were way ahead of your time. You knew it from day one. Your overall general intelligence far exceeded that of many of us. Surely, myself included.  What a book could be written about you […]

Datebook: December 2021

Frequent Addresses Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 Charles St. Silverton High, 1456 Pine St., Silverton. Silverton Senior Center, 115 Westfield, 503-873-3093. Age 50 and older. Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 NE Industrial Way, 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, […]

Stu Rasmussen: Sept. 9, 1948 – Nov. 17, 2021

Stewart Alan “Stu” Rasmussen died Nov. 17 2021 at the age of 73. Stu, the indefatigable engineer who became America’s first openly transgender mayor, was born in Silverton, Oregon on Sept. 9, 1948 as an only child to Albert and Nan Rasmussen. Stu, who used both he and she pronouns, was a self-described nerd from the start and thanks to […]

Project delayed – Silverton Road bridge won’t re-open ‘til late January

By James Day Silverton-area residents who have gotten used to detours around the Silverton Road bridge project are going to have to hang in there for another two months. Marion County officials originally hoped to open the bridge over the Little Pudding River between 60th Avenue and 64th Place by next week. However, utility issues and other “unforeseen delays” have […]

Subdivision OK’d – Council overrules earlier denial of Eureka Avenue project

By James Day A planned 22-lot subdivision near the Oregon Garden is closer to reality after the Silverton City Council voted 6-1 to approve the plan. The council action on Oct. 4 overturned a decision to reject the plan on July 13 from the city’s Planning Commission. The council heard the developer’s appeal at its Sept. 13 meeting, then held […]

Taking care of a Wright – Grant boosts needed Gordon House upkeep

By Brenna Wiegand Last month the Oregon Cultural Trust awarded the Gordon House Conservancy a grant of $13,325 toward ongoing preservation of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home. The money goes a long way toward funding the stabilization of a sagging 20-foot beam spanning its living room, thereby preserving the home’s structural integrity and protecting the Conservancy’s mission of educating […]

Investing in community – Congressman visits Habitat site in Silverton

Congressman Kurt Schrader made a trip to Silverton recently to tour the site of North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity’s planned development.  This project is the largest to date for the affiliate, and is the first step in addressing a grave shortage of affordable housing for a diverse population within the community. Plans call for thedevelopment to be home to 18 […]

Prayers for the dead – All Souls Day begins a month of remembrance

For the Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel, November is the prayer month for remembering the deceased.  Starting with All Souls Day, Nov. 2, through the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 28, the Sisters will include in their prayers a remembrance of the deceased: community members, loved ones, friends, alumni and oblates. They also welcome requests to pray for the deceased […]

A Grin at the End: Algorithm monster – Pushing us to the edge on purpose

For six hours last month we were all safe. Safe from misinformation, safe from ads targeted at us. Safe from posts that were only there because someone paid for them. Facebook and Instagram were offline. How this happened is anyone’s guess. Facebook said the “configuration” got out of whack. That is IT talk for “I don’t know.” Someone at headquarters […]

Looking to rebuild – Community regroups after destructive downtown fire

By James Day Mount Angel is in recovery mode this week as the community reels from a devastating weekend fire that destroyed historic structures and four businesses. The fire, which was called in just before 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, wiped out a highly visible swath of commercial property along the railroad tracks that separate the Mt. Angel Highway and […]

Witnessing an act of bravery

We all have a different image of what it means to be a hero. For some, it is a flying, caped super-human; for others, an inspiring ancestor whose legacy has shaped the lives of their family. In recent months, our healthcare workers have proven to be an army of heroes. For many of us, encountering a true hero in our […]

Unintended consequences – Vaccine mandate ends some careers

By Melissa Wagoner When Robin Hyslop left her shoes on the sidewalk in front of Legacy Silverton on Sept. 30, she left behind a lot more than a pair of worn-out sneakers – she left behind a 33-year career as a Certified Nursing Assistant, coworkers she’s come to think of as family and trust in a system she feels has […]

A Slice of the Pie: Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters or a plumber?

I recently learned something rather astounding – if you ask for ghost stories, prepare for an onslaught. Houses, storefronts, restaurants, nursing homes – and apparently nearly every school in area – all come with a ghost story or two attached. And many of them took place in… bathrooms?  Which prompts the question – why bathrooms? Because – and I don’t […]

The Noble Fox – Location mixes with vision to serve up a new dining experience

By Melissa Wagoner When Jeramie Mykisen and his step-father Jeffrey Tinkham learned that the Silverton Wine Bar was for sale they instantly jumped at the chance to make it their own. “It was just too good to pass up,” Mykisen said.  The previous beverage director for McMenamins and the author of the recipe book, Quintessential Cocktails, Mykisen knows a thing […]

Water dilemmas – Mitigating Oregon’s continuing drought

By Melissa Wagoner It can be difficult to remember, as the fall rains roll into the Willamette Valley, that the area is still experiencing a severe and widespread drought. “This is the second year of an extensive drought so it’s double bad,” Jan Lee, Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts – an organization representing 45 conservation districts […]

Development appeal – Council to consider subdivision on Eureka Avenue

By James Day The Silverton City Council will hold a public hearing on an appeal of a proposal for a 22-lot subdivision on Eureka Avenue near the Oregon Garden. The city Planning Commission denied the proposal at its July 13 meeting, but the property owner has appealed that decision to the council, which will hear it at its 6 p.m. […]

New chapter – Sheltering Silverton regroups following founder’s accident

By Melissa Wagoner When Sarah White created, and later became the director of, Sheltering Silverton – a resource center advocating for those who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless – she already knew that someday she would leave the day-to-day operations for a more advisory position.  “We had been working on an exit strategy that was going to […]

Giving thanks: Oregon Ag Prayer Breakfast takes root

By Melissa Wagoner  Say the word, “thanksgiving” and many images come to mind – turkey, football and pumpkin pie among them. But look the word up in the dictionary and you’ll find less about food, sports or history and more about the acknowledgement of goodness, “the act of giving thanks” and “a prayer expressing gratitude.” Those terms which could also […]

Datebook: September 2021

Datebook Submission Information Get your events and fundraisers published in Our Town. Send your releases to [email protected]. Or drop them off at 401 Oak St., Silverton. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Frequent Addresses Mount Angel Public Library, 290 Charles St., 503-845-6401 Silver Creek Fellowship Church, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton Silverton Senior Center, 115 Westfield, 503-873-3093. Age 50 and older. Weekly Events Monday SACA […]

Dialing in: Silverton’s Wind Phone provides place to release grief, trauma

By Melissa Wagoner Mike Ashland has witnessed a lot of grief during his career as a pastor and the founder of the Church of the Moment, a nondenominational church in Silverton. And over the years – as he has attended funerals, hospice care and acted as a witness to life’s inherent traumas – he has come to recognize that there […]

Water woes – Silverton restricts residential use, adds enforcement

By James Day The City of Silverton has responded to this year’s drought by advancing its restrictions on residential water use, a decision that has inflamed social media and led the mayor to take to Facebook to respond to the criticism. The City Council at its Aug. 2 meeting took the city to Level 2 of its water curtailment policy, […]