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Christmas tree vandalism investigated

By James Day

The Silverton Police Department is investigating vandalism that occurred to the Christmas tree that is lit every December in Town Square Park.

Chief Jim Anglemier told Our Town “the police department is aware of it and actively conducting an investigation. At this point, no arrest has been made of those person(s) responsible.”

The vandals painted graffiti on the base of the tree and lights were unplugged and cords were either thrown up into the tree or disconnected in several places around the park, said Stacy Palmer, executive director of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce, which coordinates the event.

“The tree vandalism was more annoying than costly,” Palmer said. “However, we will have to re-paint the panels at the bottom of the tree because they were tagged with graffiti and it will need to be covered up.”

Palmer said the chamber likely will put on some sort of fundraiser to pay for the damage as well as some upgrades planned for the tree.

“We need to refurbish the star at the top of the tree that is not working and to purchase more lights,” Palmer said. “The tree grows 3-5 feet per year and that means we need an additional 3-5 feet on every strand of lights that goes up on the tree. We’re also looking at potentially adding cameras and building a stronger base to house the electrical elements.”

Mayor Kyle Palmer took to Facebook to express his “disappointment” at the vandalism.

“The Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce and a group of volunteers has braved crappy weather for years to put on an amazing night that ends with a special visitor and the magic he brings to light the tree,” the mayor wrote. “One doesn’t have to celebrate Christmas to feel that there’s something more going on in Town Square Park – something that reminds us how important traditions are to a small town.”

Mayor Palmer and Chief Anglemier both encouraged residents with information about the vandalism to come forward. Detective Chandler Miranda is handling the case and is reachable at 503-873-5326.

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