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Instructional specialist and literacy coach Cyndi Hagey teaching a class of Rotary Readers volunteers. Dixon Bledsoe

Rotary Readers – Volunteers boost reading scores in Silver Falls schools

By Melissa Wagoner Learning to read is one of the most important skills a child can master, according to Mark Twain Elementary School principal Katie Beckett. “It’s the gateway to equity,” she said. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, especially for those students who spent their kindergarten year learning online during the COVID pandemic. For those students, lower than […]

James Day

Return to glory – Silverton High revives its Hall of Fame

Silverton High will be holding its first athletics Hall of Fame class induction in more than a decade when this year’s gala takes place Saturday, Oct. 7, at The Oregon Garden. “It’s been on hiatus for way too long, since 2011,”said Silverton teacher and volleyball coach Kirsten Barnes. “We had a lot of changes about that time and things were lost […]

SFSD election results – Three new faces, one incumbent, win seats

By Stephen Floyd Four winners have emerged in the May 16 election for the Silver Falls School District Board, though one contest was still close as of the most recent election results. Eight contenders ran for four open seats.The uncertified May 24 results are from the Oregon Secretary of State Office. The count could change until votes are finalized by […]

Public engagement – Candidates chime in on guns, school safety

By James Day The eight candidates for positions on the Silver Falls School District Board participated in a lively and informative two-hour forum April 23 at the Silverton Grange Hall. On hand were Zone 7 incumbent Tom Buchholz and his opponent, Jesse Smith as well as Zone 1 candidates Phil Wiesner and Jo Tucker, Zone 3 candidates Derrick Foxworth and […]

SFSD Board candidates share motivations, perspectives

Eight candidates are running for four seats on the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board this May, with a variety of perspectives and priorities for each contender.

Our Town asked each candidate about why they are running and the impact they hope to have if elected. Below are their answers in full.

Silverton Grange hosting SFSD candidate forum

The Silverton Grange is hosting a candidate forum Sunday, April 23, for those running for the Silver Falls School District Board and the public is invited to attend. The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall, 201 Division St. N.E., Silverton. Each of the eight candidates will give an opening statement, then the audience will have an […]

The path forward – Candidates weigh in on Silver Falls negotiation woes

By Stephen Floyd Eight candidates are running for four seats on the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board at a time when labor negotiations have soured and teachers are ready to strike. Our Town reached out to each candidate for their perspective on the relationship between SFSD and the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), as well as their goals as […]

In the ring – Eight file for four seats on SFSD Board

By Stephen Floyd Seven challengers and one incumbent have filed for four open positions on the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board, with seats to be decided during the May 16 Primary Election. As of the March 16 filing deadline, Board Member Tom Buchholz, representing Zone 7, was the only incumbent to file for re-election. Board members Janet Allanach of […]

Lifetime Achievement – Arlene Harris honored for stepping up

By Melissa Wagoner Arlene Harris is a Silvertonian through and through. Born at Silverton Hospital, Harris spent the majority of her life in her hometown, only leaving when it came time to attend the University of Washington, where she earned her degree as a Physical Therapist before returning home to get married and start her career. “My fiancé at that […]

‘No victims here’ – A different kind of Christmas for Silverton family

By Dixon Bledsoe Imagine life is humming along like a finely tuned sports car. Wonderful spouse, four awesome sons, a huge extended family full of love, faith, support and laughter. A job you love, and you like to run. Running with your wife is fun and stress-reducing.  Then, you notice the running is not as efficient. Small wounds take forever […]

People Out Loud: Like Frank said… A farewell to my readers

This is a bittersweet moment. After 42 years of writing professionally, new ideas are as rare as a polite campaign season. I’ve been called a Pollyanna for writing a lot of positive stories. But my mantra is simple when asked, “Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?” For me, it is always half-full, and I am grateful for the glass. When […]

People Out Loud: Memories – And memories in the making

I secretly wished that Olivia Newton-John was singing her mega-hit, I Honestly Love You to me when it was released in 1974. Stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas, I found her breathy rendition of that song made me even more enamored with her. Certainly at least 50 million young and old men had the same fervent dream, […]

Senior Follies – Multiple chances for a little shared laughter

By Melissa Wagoner Candace Pressnall has been involved with the theater for over 40 years.  “I even have a degree in it,” she said proudly. “I’ve enjoyed it a lot.” Which is why, when the Silverton Senior Center decided to pivot to a more member-led programming, she jumped at the chance to bring a little theater to the lives of […]

People Out Loud: Three originals – Rest in peace, friends

When I first conceived the idea for this column, many years ago, it was first and foremost centered on talking about people – living, dying, laughing, crying, and doing the things they do. Today, it is about people dying and the living they did. Doug “Chet” Bunting passed away this spring. This one hurt. He was a good man, smart […]

People Out Loud: Mr. In-between – Seeing the edges, listening to each community

Editor’s note: Dixon Bledsoe invited a guest columnist for this month. We’ll let Fred Vandecoevering introduce himself…  Growing up a farm boy north of Mount Angel I never have belonged.  I started out at Monitor Elementary. Well, Monitor itself as a school had an identity crisis.  Half the kids lived in Marion County, half in Clackamas. Of the ones living in […]

People Out Loud: Faith – Regardless of our beliefs

I asked a young acquaintance recently if she believed the Christmas Story, that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, died for our sins, and that if we believe in God and act as He would wish us to act practicing Christian charity, we will join Him in Heaven with everlasting life. As a reliable Sunday morning church attendee, her […]

Not so fast – COVID-19 vaccinations and mandates challenged

Guest Opinion by Colleen Beyer Recently, Dixon Bledsoe intimated that any reason to not get the COVID vaccine(s) is “misinformation.” The following are possible reasons not only of why someone might be hesitant to take the vaccines, but why someone might question “approved” sources. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is the data capture method critical in cases where vaccines […]

People Out Loud: Exceptional experiment – Veterans, flags and corn bread stuffing

By the time this edition of Our Town is published, Veteran’s Day 2021 will be a thing of the past. Perhaps you bought the 9,000 thread count California King sheets at the “Massive Veteran’s Day Bedding Sale,” where they pretend to care about those who serve and served. Maybe you drove around town with your American Flag waving proudly from […]

People Out Loud: Unequivocal – You have a choice on vaccinations, your employer does too

Social Media is rife with misinformation, especially in the chaos of COVID.  Lazy people use it as their “research.” VAERS is the “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System”, a reporting system co-managed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). People grab stats at random from VAERS and then perpetuate inaccurate data to anyone who […]

People Out Loud: Balancing act – Oktoberfest, school, life and COVID

It is so difficult being a writer, even one throwing out unsolicited opinions just once a month. There is a natural flow of subjects that occur annually, starting with New Year’s resolutions and ending with taking the tree down as Santa heads to the tropics for a well-earned rest. There is Valentine’s Day, Easter, Tax Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, […]