Our Town North: Jan. 15, 2023

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Our Town P.O. Box 927 Mt. Angel, Or 97362 COMMUNITY NEWS POSTAL CUSTOMER ECRWSS Sports & Recreation Fox wrestling gets football support – Page 17 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR PERMIT NO. 854 Something to Think About Silverton People for Peace, 20 years of civility – Page 4 Helping Hands Feline shelter efforts hit by legal wrangling – Page 12 Queen of Angels’ future – Page 6 Vol. 20 No. 2 Serving Mt. Angel, Silverton and Scotts Mills January 2023
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Our Town Life ourtownlive.com January 2023 • 3 On the Cover The Queen of Angels Monastery, founded and occupied by the Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel since 1888, will be vacated and re-purposed in the near future. ARCHIVAL PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MT. ANGEL HISTORICAL SOCIETY; MODERN PHOTOGRAPH BY COPPERGLANCE Something to think About People for Peace turns 20 ....... 4 Looking Back Benedictine Sisters to leave historic monastery.................. 6 Historical society program on architectural icon ................... 6 Something to Talk About Co-op focuses on pop-ups ......... 7 Injury lawsuit filed .................. 7 Civics 101 New council sworn in .............. 8 Business The Palace closes (again) ........ 10 Helping Hands Lions Club ends busy season .. 11 Cat shelter options erode ...... 12 Fire destroys cat rescue .......... 13 Update Arrest made in graffiti case .... 11 The Forum ..................... 13 Passages ....................... 14 Your Health Mental health scholarship launched ............................... 16 Sports & Recreation Fox wrestling benefits from football................................. 17 A Slice of the Pie...... 18 Marketplace .............. 19 SILVERTON AREA SENIORS, INC. www.silvertonseniorcenter.org REFLEXOLOGY Reflexology is starting at the Silverton Senior Center on Thursdays by appointment with Sadiqua Boos La Borde 971-389-9229 or 503-873-3093 Reflexology is a type of massage that involves that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems. People who practice this technique are called reflexologists. ‘Senior Follies’ IS BACK! SECOND ANNUAL EDITION • JUNE 16, 17 & 18 Talented Seniors 50+ Needed! If interested contact Cande at 541-297-9090 cande522@gmail.com CPR & First Aid Class is 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25. Sign up required. Class limited. $35 for non-Silverton Senior Center Members. Members are FREE! It’s time to RENEW Annual Memberships! $48 and $24 for Veterans. Small Town Service. Small Town Prices. 105 S. First St., Silverton 503-873-6771 Open Tuesdays - Saturdays 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Why Go to Salem for Framing? 1397 S. Water St., Silverton 503-873-6089 OPEN: 8am - 7pm • Tuesday through Sunday Exp. 2 /15/ 23 $2 off any regular priced meal breakfast or lunch dine-in or take-out 00 Our Town P.O. Box 927 Mount Angel, OR 97362 401 Oak St. Silverton, OR 97381 503-845-9499 ourtown.life@mtangelpub.com ourtownlive.com Our Town mailed free to residents and businesses in the 97362, 97375, 97381 zip codes. Subscriptions for outside this area are $48 annually. The deadline for placing an ad in the Feb. 1 issue is Jan. 20. Thank you for spending time with Our Town. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Jim Kinghorn Advertising Director Paula Mabry Editor & Publisher DeeDe Williams Office Manager Steve Beckner Custom Design Tavis Bettoli-Lotten Designer & Copy Editor James Day Sports Editor & Reporter
Patterson Distribution Melissa Wagoner Reporter Stephen Floyd Digital Editor & Reporter Sara Morgan Datebook Editor Contents

Silverton People for Peace, a group that formed amid the buildup to the 2003 start of the Iraq War, has turned 20. The informal group, which began with vigils in opposition to the Iraq buildup, has broadened its focus and also participates in Silverton’s MLK Day observances as well as the Homer Davenport Community Festival, where its peace dove has been a parade highlight, and more regional events in Salem and elsewhere.

“SPFP from the its beginning has partnered with or supported other groups and events that advocate for peace and social justice issues,” said longtime participant Robert Sisk. “It continues to look for opportunities to make a difference and be ‘more than just a presence.’ ”

Key members in addition to Sisk include Aaron Embree and Ann Durrant.

Silverton People for Peace has transitioned beyond being a one-issue organization as it was at the start of the Iraq War. Key goals that SPFP advocates for, Sisk noted, include:

1. Non-violent conflict resolution at all levels of society;

2. Sensitivity, tolerance and equity for all races and ethnicities and sexual orientations, as well as inclusion

and appreciation of diversity;

3. Economic justice for all and an awareness of injustice and damage caused by corporate greed;

4. Affordable, accessible health care as a right for all; and

5. Environmental justice and personal responsibility for the health and welfare of the planet.

Attendance has been as high as 40 for vigils with either extremely hot or cold and rainy weather often influencing

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Members of Silverton People for Peace gather last January for their annual MLK Day observance. The group has been holding vigils for 20 years. SUBMITTED

the turnout. The group held its vigil as planned last month on the day after Christmas and in 117-degree heat in the famous “heat dome” of June 2021.

“SPFP is not a structured organization. There are no regular meetings and officers, etc.,” Sisk said. “One of our original members termed it a ‘tribal’ model. SPFP communicates and makes decisions via a listserve which anybody can join by registering their email.”

The Iraq War is long gone, but Sisk notes that “in our vigil messaging, we continue to spotlight the terror and destruction all wars bring.”

Sisk added that research from SPFP member Rose Hope shows there are currently more than 30 armed conflicts around the world, including Ethiopia, Yemen, and Ukraine. Silverton People for

Silverton People for Peace

For information on Silverton People for Peace events or how to participate email robertjsisk@ yahoo.com or call him at 503-873-5307.

MLK dinner, address at Grange

The annual Silverton MLK Day observances is Monday, Jan. 16, at the Silverton Grange, 201 Division St. NE. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event begins at 6. Food security activist and local columnist Joel Autry will give the keynote address. The event is free, open to the public and includes a potluck, songs and readings. Masks are strongly encouraged. Donations are accepted and will benefit the Grange and Silverton Area Community Aid.

Peace members have participated in a street rally on the Russian invasion of Ukraine in conjunction with Oregon Peaceworks and the Salem chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

When asked how the group measures success, Sisk responded:

“It’s easy to start a peace group when many are outraged about an impending conflict. It is hard to keep it going when disillusionment and frustration sets in. Most groups that sprang up in opposition to the Iraq War have disappeared. It is very rewarding to note as the vigils have continued, the sporadic obscene gesture and heckling have disappeared, replaced by enthusiastic, supportive honking and waves from drive-by traffic which seems grateful to see us.

“Success for SPFP is not just continuing to exist after 20 years, but believing our presence and efforts to continually advocate for peace through social justice contributes in some way to Silverton as a caring and friendly community, sensitive and responsive to social justice issues.

“The responses we get with our parade entry and by attendance at our annual MLK observance shows an overall appreciation and support for our presence and efforts. That is reason and success enough to continue existing.”

Matthew B. Chase, D.M.D. Nathan C. Braxmeyer, D.M.D. Mark A. Haskell, D.D.S. 303 N. First • Silverton 503-873-8614

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The peace pole that the Silverton Rotary Club installed in 2017 at the site of the monthly peace vigils.
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By any measure, the 2022 Mayor’s Ball was a success.

The event at the Oregon Garden Pavilion on Oct. 22 saw over 200 attendees who enjoyed good food, the great music by Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts, and silent and oral auctions which raised over $33,000 for local nonprofits.

The proceeds were awarded by Mayor Kyle Palmer to 17 grantees at the Jan. 9 City Council Meeting.

The Mayor’s Ball Committee thanks the following businesses and individuals for their generous support.

Looking Back

Moving on

Benedictine Sisters to leave monastery site

After 134 years, the Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel will be leaving the Queen of Angels Monastery, with plans to repurpose part of the facility as transitional housing for families in need.

Membership within the monastic community has been in decline, as elsewhere in the U.S., with the number of religious sisters nationally dropping from 161,000 in 1970 to around 39,000 in 2021, according to a September article by Catholic Sentinel.

The Benedictine Sisters peaked in 1964 with 144 nuns. Currently 16 remain, many more than 80 years old. By this summer, the majority of the Sisters will move to Mount Angel Towers, a retirement community the order helped found. Those requiring more assistance will relocate to Providence Benedictine Nursing Center, which the order also founded.

as mixed-density housing, ranging from tiny homes and single-family units to duplexes and triplexes.

The Sisters, developer and other stakeholders are working with the City of Mount Angel. An initial meeting with city administration was scheduled for Jan. 13. In a January presentation before the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, representatives estimated homes to be built at the “mid-100s”. Development of the property will provide funds for the Sisters’ future housing, care and other needs.

Queen of Angels Monastery was built in 1888 by an order of Swiss nuns established in 1882. Their initial ministry focused on education in and around the region including the founding of Mount Angel College, which trained teachers and eventually became a liberal arts college until closing in the 1970s.

Contributing Sponsors

Charles Pattee, CPA • Hartley Insurance • loanDepot – Julie Nash NAPA Silver Creek Auto Parts • Silver Creek Lanes • White’s Collision

Food / Beverage Sponsors

Kevin Cobb • Bill & Cory Cross • Greystone Lounge & Tiki Bar • The Home Place Jeff Nizlek Catering • Les Schwab Tires • Magnolia Grill • Main Street Bistro The Noble Fox • Oso Restaurant • Roth’s Fresh Markets • Silverton Bake Shop Willamette Valley Pie Co. • Wooden Nickel Catering Willamette Valley Vineyards • Zest Catering

Auction Item Donors – Businesses

Allen Chiropractic • Beloved Cheesecakes • Côté Chiropractic Dale’s Remodeling • Hair & Soul • Hoefel House • Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant

Kel’s Kickstart • Les Schwab Tires • The Oregon Garden Oregon Garden Resort • Paradis Vineyards • Pheasant Run Wine

Postal Connections • Pudding River Wine Cellars • The Red Bench • Salon M

Silver Creek Animal Clinic • Silver Creek Lanes • Silver Falls Engraving Silver Falls Family YMCA • Silverton Coffee Station • Silverton Fire District

Silverton Bodyworks Clinic • Silverton High School • Silverton Police Department Starbucks • Visions Salon • Vitis Ridge Winery • Water Street Inn White Christmas Tree Farm • Wilco Farm Stores • The Wild Dandelion

Auction Item Donors – Individuals

Verlene Beard • Andy & Rhonda Bellando

The monastery building will move into the care of Catholic Community Services (CCS) to be developed as apartments for St. Joseph Family Shelter, a transitional housing program founded by the Sisters in 1988 which CCS has overseen since 2017. Other programs including the Mission Benedict resource program and the Father Bernard Youth Center will remain active on the grounds.

The plan calls for remaining property to be developed by Mountain West Investments

They also focused on outreach to those less fortunate, founding St. Joseph Family Shelter and Mission Benedict, as well as Benedictine Nursing Center in 1957 to care for the elderly and Casa Adele in 1988 to provide housing for migrant worker families at a former dorm for the college.

Though the Sisters are transitioning away from the monastery grounds, those able intend to remain active in ministry, including education and outreach to the local community, and will maintain offices in the monastery.

Building turns 100, ‘new’ cartoon displayed

At the Silverton Country Historical Society’s annual meeting vice president Fred Parkinson will present a talk about historic Silverton architecture, specifically a building that recently turned 100 years old.

Now serving as the local branch of Citizens Bank, 217 E. Main St. started out in 1923 as the new building for Coolidge & McClaine Bank.

Additionally, the meeting will showcase the historical society’s latest Homer Davenport acquisition, the original artwork for a 1909 cartoon. Originally published in The New York Evening Mail, the cartoon features African animals up

in a tree – having just learned former President Theodore Roosevelt is on safari (the illustration is captioned “Look Who’s Coming”).

The widely-circulated drawing was acquired recently from a collector in South Carolina.

Parkinson’s presentation will follow SCHS board reports and the election of officers.

The society’s meeting is public, free event and starts at 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at Silverton Senior Center, 115 Westfield St.

Books on Silverton history are for sale and there will be free refreshments.

6 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
• Roger & Dee Epstein • Ken & Darby Hector Jan & Cindy Hupp • Linda Jacobson • Matt & Mandy Jones • Morry & Cindy Jones Ron & Jane Jones • Becky Ludden • Colleen Martin • Linda Merrill Kyle & Julie Palmer • Sue & Craig Roessler • Bill Schmidt • Genie & Denny Stoll In-Kind Sponsors (Services) City of Silverton – Accounting • Donna Mattson – Poster Design Photo Express – Poster Printing • Kelly Scott – Graphic Design presenting
Bronze Sponsors AmeriTitle • Bella Casa Realty Group Citizens Bank • Harcourts Silverton Ticor Title • Vitis Ridge Winery Wy’east Electrical Contractors Gold Sponsors BST Realty • Comcast Silver Sponsor K&E Excavating
sponsor music sponsor

Something to Talk About

In 2018 the Silverton Food Co-op initiated a capital campaign that they hoped would raise the funds necessary to open a brick-and-mortar store in Silverton. Although those efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, the organization’s mission, to make healthy, locally sourced and sustainably grown food available for everyone, has continued – just in a slightly altered way.

“We do quirky and weird really well, so why not embrace that?” Director Karyssa Dow said of the group’s decision to take a step back from their ultimate goal –which continues to be a future storefront – and instead bring local food to the community now through a series of pop-up co-ops.

“We don’t need a fancy magazine-worthy grocery store,” Dow said, describing the first pop-up, which was held Dec. 16 at the Silverton Grange and stocked with bulk items like hazelnuts, apples and honey purchased from local growers and sold at a fair price.

“This is how things started in the ’70s –buying things in bulk and dividing them,” Dow explained. “And maybe one day, in ten to 15 years we can have a grocery store.”

For now, she’s just excited to take a step back from the initial focus on

Silverton Food Co-op Pop-up

Silverton Grange, 201 Division St. Friday, Feb. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information visit www.silvertonfood.coop

membership and fundraising and instead bring the focus back to the food.

“[People] can still sign up to be an owner but we’re not doing a push for owners,” Dow said. “Right now, we’re just trying to excite the owners we have.”

School district denies liability in injury suit

The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has denied liability in a $369,501 personal injury lawsuit by a former Silverton Middle School student who broke a leg at school in 2017 after allegedly slipping on a wet floor.

On Dec. 28, 2022, the district admitted the student attended the school during that time, and a tort claim was filed with the district the following year, but denied all other allegations.

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 29, 2022, in Marion County Circuit Court by Guardian ad Litem Kimberly Cramer, claims the student, 11 at the time, entered a school bathroom after it was recently mopped, slipped and struck the wall and floor, facturing a lower leg. This allegedly

resulted in chronic mobility and pain problems, as well as psychological trauma.

The suit seeks $43,153 for actual and future medical expenses, $1,348 for the expense of rescheduling a family vacation, and $325,000 in non-economic damages for pain and suffering.

The district argues the plaintiff is unable to provide proof of their allegations, that damages to plaintiff were the result of negligence by another party, and that the suit was filed past the statute of limitations. SFSD has asked for the suit to be dismissed, and for its legal costs to be reimbursed.

The case has been assigned to Judge Edmonds and a future hearing date has yet to be set.

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New role, new faces Mayor Freilinger, four new Silverton councilors

Silverton installed a new mayor and four new councilors on Monday, Jan. 9, signaling the beginning of a new political era in town.

Jason Freilinger, who had served as council president, was sworn in as mayor, replacing Kyle Palmer, whose elected office experience dates to 2004. In addition, outgoing councilors Jim Sears, Dana Smith and Crystal Neideigh were replaced by Marie Traeger, April Newton and Eric Hammond. Freilinger and the three councilors won their seats in the Nov. 8 election.

Because Freilinger was a sitting councilor whose seat had not expired he needed to be replaced as well and the new council voted unanimously to add Matt Gaitan to the council. Gaitan also was sworn in by city clerk Jamie Ward. His term, along with those of returning councilors Elvi Cuellar Sutton and Jess Miller, will expire at the end of 2024.

In one final piece of the electoral puzzle Sutton was elected unanimously to replace Freilinger as council president. Sutton will take over the mayoral duties when Freilinger is unavailable.

The evening contained a bit of ceremonial pomp as gifts were offered to the outgoing officials, cake and snacks were served and Freilinger’s daughter presented him with a gavel.

Freilinger offered words of thanks for the outgoing councilors, praising Neideigh for the challenge she faced in juggling council duties with her work as a nurse, noting Sears’ attention to detail and Smith’s contributions on housing issues and her valuable engineering expertise.

Freilinger then expressed his appreciation for Palmer’s work, noting the recent challenges of social problems, the ice storm and the COVID-19 pandemic. “You have handled it with such grace and left me with some really big shoes to fill,” Freilinger said.

Palmer, who received a standing ovation from the standing-room-only crowd in the council chambers, said

there were “too many people to thank” while also praising the leadership of predecessors Ken Hector and Rick Lewis.

Palmer also noted that “this job is hard on families. I appreciated them hanging with me during all the nights I wasn’t at home and all the events I couldn’t get to.”

Key challenges that the new team will face moving forward are housing and homelessness, parking, growth and infrastructure pieces such as parks, streets, sidewalks and the water system.

The severity of the test ahead was perhaps best expressed by Sears, who said he wishes “the best of luck to the new council. They say all of the easy problems already have been solved.”

In other council actions:

Mayors Ball funds: Palmer passed out checks to recipients of money raised at the Oct. 22 Mayors Ball, which brought in more than $32,000. The Silverton Rotary Foundation received the largest check, $10,000

for the planned all-abilities playground next to the swimming pool parking lot. The Chamber of Commerce received three checks, $4,000 for general use, $1,000 for Paws in the Park and $1,000 for the Christmas tree lighting event.

Also receiving funds were Silverton Cat Rescue ($1,000), SACA ($1,000), At Risk Teens  ($1,000), ASAP (After School Activities Program, $1,000), Sheltering Silverton ($1,000), Silverton Rotary Foundation second grade readers program ($1,000), Silverton Hospital Foundation ($2,500), Silverton Arts Association ($1,500), We All Dine in Silverton ($1,000), Tree of Giving ($1,000), Silverton Kiwanis Dolly Parton Imagination Library ( $1,000), Elizabeth Ashley Hoke Memorial Trust ($1,500), and Oregon Garden Foundation ($2,000).

Parking: The council also continued its discussion of upgrading its parking regulations. The final tweaks that were discussed at the meeting led the council to postpone a final vote so that legal counsel can review the most recent changes.

8 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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Jason Freilinger, the new mayor of Silverton, receives the oath of office from city clerk Jamie Ward at Jna. 9 council meeting. Freilinger replaces Kyle Palmer in the mayor’s chair. JAMES DAY

The Silverton Police Department has arrested a Mount Angel man they claim was responsible for a vandalism spree that defaced multiple public facilities and local businesses.

Roman L. Cunningham, 23, was arrested Dec. 20, 2022, on 24 felony counts of aggravated first-degree criminal mischief for incidents taking place within the prior month.

Police said Cunningham repeatedly left graffiti at Town Square Park, Coolidge McClaine Park, local bridges, road signs, and businesses. Police Chief Jim Anglemier estimated the cost to clean and repair the damage was around $4,000.

Cunningham was booked and released from the Marion County Jail and the case has been referred to the Marion County District Attorneys’ Office. If convicted as charged, he faces up to five years in prison and a $125,000 fine on each count. An example of graffiti left on public facilities during a vandalism spree in late 2022.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com January 2023 • 9
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The iconic Palace Theatre (spelled “Theater” in recent years) in Silverton has shut down and its future is up in the air.

Erik and Rachelle Gonterman, who have operated the theater since 2020, are engaged in an acrimonious dispute with the landlord, Marjorie Eng, and when their contractual obligation to show Avatar: The Way of Water ended Jan. 12, the Gontermans closed the doors.

“We have no predictions about when or if the [P]alace will reopen,” the Gontermans said in a Facebook post. “At this point we will be surprised if it does as a movie theater. To replace everything will be a huge investment for someone new [and] in this age of the small independent theaters closing because of lack of revenue, no new movies and studios not wanting to work with them, we just don’t see someone taking on a losing prospect.

“After rent and utilities and equipment payments in a building with no air conditioning and the heat from an ancient

Silverton’s Palace Theatre shuts down (again)

boiler, there was zero left to go towards any kind of profit, or wages.”

The Gontermans own the projector, screen and sound system, thus the requirement that any new operator replace those items.

The dispute concerns allegations that the Gontermans failed to pay rent and that the landlord, Marjorie Eng, had engaged in disruptive behavior. The Gonterman’s side of the story is contained in the Facebook post and an additional post of a letter from their attorney to Eng.

The lone response from Eng has been to note via email to Our Town that “my intention for the Palace Theatre is not only to thrive, but prosper.” On the advice of her attorney, Eng said, she could not elaborate on her comment.

The Palace has been in Silverton since 1936. It has gone through a fire and a pandemic. For much of its existence it was operated by Stu Rasmussen and Roger Paulson. Rasmussen was known for dressing as a movie’s character, taking

tickets as a commodore for Titanic and as Queen Amidala for the Star Wars movie

The Phantom Menace. Rasmussen, who also served as mayor of Silverton, died in 2021. Paulson passed away in 2022.

The Gontermans took over in October of 2020, although the pandemic prevented them from showing a movie until April of 2021.

“I am disappointed to hear about the closing of the Palace Theatre,” said Silverton Mayor Jason Freilinger. “I feel it is historically and culturally a very important part of our downtown. I am aware of some of the issues that have led to this situation. I will reach out to the Palace owners and the landlord to see if there is a way to keep the Palace open. I don’t know if there is a way to do this, but I feel it is important enough that we need to try.”

The Palace was one of the few onescreen movie houses in the Mid-Valley. Stayton, Dallas and Albany also have them. Economies of scale have shifted the advantage to multiplexes, while the

pandemic and the success of streaming services also have made it harder on the one-screen mavericks.

“A theater is a treasure for a small town, a great draw for residents and visitors alike,” said Stacy Palmer, executive director of the Silverton Chamber of Commerce. “Especially when it’s as charming as the Silverton Palace has been. When it comes to activities that keep folks here in town, there is nothing better than a hometown movie theater.”

Like the mayor, Palmer was not sure what the community can do at this point.

“It appears each party has drawn their proverbial line in the sand,” she said. “If the tenants own all the equipment to operate as a theater (projector, screen, etc.) it may make it cost-prohibitive for anyone else to come in and try to operate it as a theater. I’m sorry the two parties couldn’t come to some understanding.  An empty building is not only an eyesore – but surely doesn’t help a landlord pay their bills either.”

10 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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Closing time

Lions Club Community service via sweet treats, scholarships, vision screening

High School scholarships. Last year, the Lions awarded $4,000 in scholarship grants.

Club members are sending out a big “Thank you!” to the Silvertones and the Silverton community for all the smiles, holiday greetings and support of the annual project.

Oregon Lions Vision Screening

within the Silver Falls School District.

Eleven percent of the students, kindergarten through eighth grade, were identified as being in need of further evaluation for eye conditions. The club appreciated Silver Falls District Nurse Melissa Gengler for her invaluable help.

Silvertones volunteers kept the booth open from Thanksgiving until selling out near Christmas. The booth in the Ace Hardware parking lot is a go-to for shoppers with a person with a sweet tooth on their list. One half of the net proceeds are dedicated to Silverton

Lions throughout Oregon volunteer to provide the annual vision screening mandated by the State of Oregon. The effort saved school districts staff time and money. From Dec. 5 - 8, the Silverton Lions coordinated with the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation to screen 1,391 children at 11 schools

The mission of Lions worldwide is to save and restore sight and hearing. The Silverton Lions strive to serve the community and support the goals of International Lions Club.

The club is welcoming new members. If you are interested, contact Tomina Wolff, 503-873-2033.

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To your health?

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Nine lives County suffers cat shelter shortage

When Kristen Storer received a message from the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) informing her that the organization would no longer be accepting stray cats from Marion County after Nov. 15, 2022, she was alarmed.

“I feel like no one knows about this and it will affect everybody,” Storer, a former veterinary technician and cat foster care volunteer for the past three years, said.

OHS’s decision came about after Marion County failed to issue the organization a Memorandum of Understanding, the language of which would allow stray cats to be admitted to OHS without verifying prior ownership first.

There are many ways to help

been to rehome stray cats since its establishment in 2021.

“I love cats, but there are just too many…” Palm said. “Kittens can get pregnant as early as four months old and have three litters a year.”

The best solution, she said, is to ensure as many cats as possible are either spayed or neutered – a service OHS is still offering, even to cats from Marion County.

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“Without a legal agreement in place, we must follow Oregon law under which cats are considered property,” OHS Communication Manager, Laura Klink, explained. “As such, state law requires an exhaustive process to find the owner of the ‘property.’”

But Marion County does not agree that the memorandum is legally required and so has, thus far, been disinclined to issue one.

“[R]egarding a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Marion County and the Oregon Humane Society, we do not believe that this MOU is legally required, either by applicable Oregon statutes or by the Marion County Code, for the Oregon Humane Society to continue its mission of providing shelter for stray cats here in Marion County,” Jon Heynen, the Communications Officer for the Marion County Board of Commissioners, confirmed. “Their statements that they are no longer able to shelter cats because Marion County will not sign this MOU are misleading and, again, are not supported by Oregon law or county code.”

It’s a stalemate with neither party willing to budge.

“It’s finger pointing,” Storer’s daughter, Elizabeth,” agreed.

“And it’s not the cats’ fault,” Storer added. And yet it is the cats, she fears, who will be most affected.

“[T]hey need vet care, they can spread disease and they have lots and lots of babies,” she pointed out. “And people think cats are fine on their own but they’re not. They’re a domestic breed.”

It’s an opinion shared by Vivian Palm, director of Silverton Cat Rescue – a nonprofit whose mission it has

“It’s important to know that we are still providing a wide range of services for cats and kittens,” Klink said. “This includes accepting stray felines from Polk County” – where a MOU is on file – “helping pet owners who need to surrender their cats and kittens; helping injured or sick stray cats and kittens; providing spay/neuter services to feral cats and owned cats.”

But these services, Storer fears, will not be enough.

“Our community will get overrun,” she worried. “It needs to get figured out now, before kitten season.” Which is just around the corner.

It’s a situation Storer worries that, if left unresolved, could lead to an increase in cats abandoned in the wild.

“This is hard for me to criticize another rescue,” Palm, who has successfully placed an estimated 300 cats during the past 15 months, said, “but I think the public needs to know that OHS and Marion County are turning their backs on injured and helpless stray cats.”

It’s an issue she, too, hopes will be remedied quickly.

“I hope that Oregon Humane Society and Marion County will work together to solve this problem,” she said. “The only way that will happen is if the public puts pressure on them to work out a solution. OHS donors need to speak up also.”

In the meantime, she is calling for OHS to create a task force of established rescues and trap-neuter-return volunteers. And for the public to help by fostering or adopting a cat in need of a home or by donating to cat shelters. But more than anything she hopes people will spay and neuter the cats in their care.

“The most important thing people can do to help cats, is to get their cats fixed,” she said. “If you are feeding a stray cat, reach out to us to help you get the cat fixed… The community needs to step up.”

Editor’s note: The headquarters of Silverton Cat Rescue burned down after this story was completed. See page 13 for details.

12 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
www.silvertoncatrescue.com PHOTO COURTESY OF VIVIAN PALM

Burned out Headquarters gone, work remains

It took just three days for supporters of Silverton Cat Rescue to exceed a $40,000 fundraising goal after the facility suddenly burned down the evening of Jan. 7.

As of the afternoon of Jan. 10, a GoFundMe page set up by resident Katelyn McGill had generated $40,750 for rescue owner/operator Vivian Palm, whose adjacent home also was a total loss.

McGill, who has worked with Palm on animal rescue projects, said she was “floored” by how much was raised so fast. A new goal of $50,000 has been set, and McGill said donations will help Palm build the rescue back better than before.

“Vivian has impacted the lives of thousands in our community,” said McGill. “...She doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, just likes to get to work. And that’s what she’s done for years and years and years.”

Palm, her husband and two dogs escaped the blaze and eight cats survived as well, with two requiring hospital attention. An estimated 30 cats perished from the heat and smoke and the property was considered a total loss.

Palm told Our Town she and her family would never be able to repay her supporters, and was amazed that so much was raised so fast through GoFundMe.

“There are just so many people to thank and I wish I could list everybody but just know that you have forever touched our heart,” she said.

Palm also thanked Salem Emergency Clinic for caring for the injured cats, and Silver Falls Animal Clinic for their support in assessing and seeking help for injured cats. She also thanked first responders for their compassion and quick response, arriving within five minutes after the fire started.

The fire was reported around 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 on the 600 block of Lone Oaks Loop. The Silverton Fire District

The Forum

said first responders found a large residence involved in heavy flames.

“An aggressive fire attack was conducted, however, due to the amount of fire and smoke, it took crews several hours to extinguish all of the hot spots,” said a press release from the district. “The house suffered considerable fire, smoke, and water damage.”

Units from Mt. Angel Fire District and Marion County Fire District #1 assisted local crews, with 32 firefighters and more than ten engines and tankers responding in total. An initial investigation revealed the fire was accidental and the case was likely “electrical related,” said the release.

In addition to a GoFundMe campaign, the Silverton Mayor’s Ball Committee awarded Palm a previously authorized $1,000 grant Jan. 9. Former Mayor Kyle Palmer said on Facebook he has known Palm professionally for more than a decade and watched her rescue efforts grow from assisting other groups to the development of her own, well-organized nonprofit.

“Losing 30 cats is beyond imaginable and my thoughts go out to Vivian and the rest of the volunteers who have suffered this loss,” he said.

Palm said, as she and rescue volunteers recover from this loss, they will continue to help with animal rescues and promote spay and neuter programs. She said they’re taking things “one day at a time” and will continue to engage with the community for support and to provide updates.

“I’m hoping the silver lining is that people will support small rescues such as Silverton Cat Rescue,” said Palm.

The fundraising campaign remains ongoing, and those who wish to offer support may do so at gofundme.com/f/ vivian-palm-and-silverton-cat-rescue.

Tree of Giving thanks community

Thank You, Silverton!

The Silverton Zenith Woman’s Club thanks the community of Silverton for all the help they received for their 2022 Tree of Giving project. Together we were able to make Christmas a little brighter for 208 children in the Silver Falls School District. We wish to particularly thank:

Hi-School Pharmacy, Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Silver Creek Fellowship and Wilco for displaying the trees and accepting/storing individual gifts; Silverton Fire Dept. and Les Schwab for their toy drive; Silverton High School students for the gifts they purchased; the anonymous donor

who made the beautiful mermaid tail blankets for girls; and all the members of the community who generously donated money and/or purchased gifts for the children.

A special thank you to Immanuel Lutheran Church for the use of their gym to gather all gifts and toys, and for allowing us to use their facility for distribution of the gifts to families.

If we have missed anyone, we apologize in advance. Blessings on all and we hope for happiness, healthiness, and prosperity in 2023!

Phone and Internet Discounts Available to CenturyLink Customers

The Oregon Public Utility Commission designated CenturyLink as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier within its service area for universal service purposes.

CenturyLink’s basic local service rates for residential voice lines are $25.80 27.00 per month and business services are $42.00 per month. Specific rates will be provided upon request.

CenturyLink participates in the Lifeline program, which makes residential telephone or qualifying broadband service more affordable to eligible low-income individuals and families.

Eligible customers may qualify for Lifeline discounts of $5.25/month for voice or bundled voice service or $9.25/month for qualifying broadband or broadband bundles. Residents who live on federally recognized Tribal Lands may qualify for additional Tribal benefits if they participate in certain additional federal eligibility programs. The Lifeline discount is available for only one telephone or qualifying broadband service per household, which can be either a wireline or wireless service.

Broadband speeds must be at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload to qualify.

CenturyLink also participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households with a discount on broadband service. The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

For both programs, a household is defined as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. Services are not transferable, and only eligible consumers may enroll in these programs. Consumers who willfully make false statements to obtain these discounts can be punished by fine or imprisonment and can be barred from these programs.

If you live in a CenturyLink service area, visit https://www.centurylink.com/aboutus/ community/community-development/lifeline. html for additional information about applying for these programs or call 1-800-201-4099 with questions.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com January 2023 • 13
Silverton Zenith Woman’s Club

Faith and family

“Can you see Tami without seeing Ron or see Ron without seeing Tami? They were a team. And they touched so many lives.”

That was how Pastor Tom Anderson, Tami’s brother, referred to the couple at a Celebration of Life on Jan. 5, at the Silver Creek Fellowship. A standing-room-only crowd of approximately 500 was on hand for the two-hour event, a mixture of memories, music and prayer.

The Stutzmans, both 71, died Dec. 30 in a car crash in Morrow County in Eastern Oregon. According to authorities, an on-coming vehicle crossed over into their lane causing a head-on collision. It was just 11 days after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Ron and Tami met at Silverton High. He was an athlete. She was a cheerleader. They married a year after high school.

“And their love never wavered,” said Teresa Carroll, Tami’s sister.

At times the event took on the hue of a family or high school reunion. Story after story unfolded, mostly from the couple’s early years, and Duane Stutzman’s memories of growing up with his older brother Ronnie.

Ron and Tami Stutzman remembered

Tami’s house. For six years. The Stutzmans ran an electric line out to the tent so Jim could run a heater in the winter.  Their extended family grew so big – as was evidenced in the numerous large gatherings (weddings, reunions, graduations) that were featured in a photo slide slow –that both Tom Anderson and Ron’s brother, Duane, felt challenged at coming up with an accurate number for the couple’s grandchildren.

At their 50th anniversary dinner Ron stood up in the middle of the restaurant and announced that “52 years ago I married this beautiful woman.” And when the anniversary party went to pay the bill… they found that another customer already had taken care of it.

Many of the stories involved things with wheels, or moving fast.

“The only thing Ronnie enjoyed more than speed was acceleration,” Duane said.

Another story came up in which Ron, on skis, held onto the bumper of a car in the snow-covered Safeway parking lot.

“I can’t believe how much I am learning here,” said Ron’s mother, 93, from the front row.

A couple of stories involved a homeless man named Jim, who slept in a tent under a big tree outside Ron and

Ron and Tami were members of the Silverton High Class of 1969. When Pastor Tom asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they were from the 1969 class more than a dozen did so.

One of those 1969 grads, Don Von Weller, played football with Stutzman and still coaches for the Foxes.

“Ron and Tami were both in my class and I knew them since grade school,” Von Weller said. “Over the years as they aged they were known for their strong faith and deep desire to help those they knew. I was honored to have known them.”

Jeffrey Lynn Anderson

Dec. 24, 1955 – Nov. 30, 2022

Jeffrey (Jeff / Beaver) Lynn Anderson passed away at his Silverton Road home on Nov. 30, 2022.

The youngest of four boys, he was born to Henry and Alma Anderson in Silverton, Oregon on Dec. 24, 1955. He graduated from Silverton Union High School in 1974.

This 13-week program is a Christian support to those struggling with the loss of a friend or family member.

Please call Rev. June Smith to sign up: 325-234-5014 .

The seminar is free. A $15 donation for the workbook is welcomed, but not required.

Christ the King Church holds its regularly weekly worship service following at 5 p.m.

GriefShare participants and visitors are welcome to attend.

After graduation, Jeff attended Oregon State University for awhile, then started work at Johnson’s Mill. Later he worked with his brother, Arland, in the construction business.

Jeff became a Master Gardener, and worked in the landscaping business for many years.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Don and Arland. He is survived by his brother, Richard, and his son, Jeffrey Kuenle.

14 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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If there is a birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary, college graduation or obituary of a local resident you’d like to share, please send it to ourtown.life@mtangelpub.com
is offering Grief Share beginning Saturday, Feb. 4 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Silverton Grange #748 201 Division St., Silverton

Janet Marie Splonski

Janet Marie Splonski was born Nov. 12, 1944 to Hi and Sue Brenden and died Dec. 28, 2022.

She attended Mt. Angel Academy and Mt. Angel College where she met her husband, John Bruner. John died in 1976. She later married Ralph Splonski who died in 2014.

She worked at Sacred Heart Hospital in Medford and later at the Benedictine Center in Mount Angel. She also did many years of childcare.

She loved being surrounded by family and friends and enjoyed camping and spending time at the Oregon Coast and Reno. She was known for making many beautiful counted cross stitch pictures, Christmas stockings and was also famous for her potato salad, that was requested at many gatherings.

Irene Mae Sinn

Irene Mae (Edelman) Sinn, 67, passed away Dec 29, 2022 after a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia.

Irene was born on in Sabetha, Kansas to Daniel and Wilma Edelman. She grew up on a farm in rural Northeast Kansas along with her four siblings. She enjoyed playing volleyball, basketball and track at Bern High School. She attended Kansas State University and Stormont-Vail Hospital for her Registered Nurse degree.

Irene married James Sinn in August 1976 and moved to Silverton, Oregon. She worked as an RN for 41 years, first at Salem Hospital, then at Silverton Hospital Foot Clinic. She retired in 2018. Jim and Irene celebrated their 46th anniversary this year.

Irene was an excellent cook and baker. She enjoyed flowers, gardening, and hiking, but most of all she loved Jesus

Later her passion was attending her grandchildren’s sports and school events.

Janet always had her ear to the scanner and in the later years, enjoyed hearing her nephew and sons – each a volunteer fireman – on the air.

She is survived by her children, Suzanne Weber (Steve), Anne Bruner, John Bruner (Sandra), and Nicholas Splonski (Rona); 10 grandchildren; as well as sisters and brothers, Maria Hannan, Margie Courtney, Mick, Harold and Carl Brenden

There was a Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial on Jan. 9 at St. Mary Church, Mount Angel.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce.

Gail Kent

Gail Kent, 73, of Silverton, Oregon peacefully passed away in her home on Jan. 3, 2023. Gail was born on June 21, 1949 to Jack Larson and Dorene Smith in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from West Seattle High School in 1967 and would later go on to study at College of the Redwoods.

June 21, 1949 – Jan. 3, 2023

grandchildren, Gracie, Avery, Isla, and Luka; and her brother, Gary Larson.

Christ and her family. She delighted in being surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and husband. Irene was an active volunteer at Silverton First Baptist Church and in the community.

Irene is survived by her husband, Jim; four children, Scott (Karen) of Salem, T.J. (Melissa) of Silverton, Rebecca (Casey) Murphy of Silverton, and Rachel (Wesley) Holman of Silverton; her siblings, Karen Edelman of Topeka, Kansas, Wayne (Linda) Edelman of Bern, Kansas, Earl (Donna) Edelman of Bern, and Edith (Tom) Sinn of Silverton; and her 15 beloved grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to Salem Hope Pregnancy Center, Reid Saunders Association, or Silverton First Baptist Church.

Gail most recently worked for the State of Oregon as an Executive Support Specialist for the Oregon Department of Human Services from 2012-2023.

An avid gardener and reader, Gail was a wealth of knowledge whom friends and family relied upon when needing a question answered or an empty flower bed filled. She passionately rooted for the Portland Trail Blazers, never missing out on watching a game or engaging in conversation about the team with anyone who would listen.

Gail is survived by her three children, Garrett Anderson, Jed (Junko) Kent, and Jordan (Kevin) Zade; her four

Gail was a loving and supportive mother, always ready to champion the causes of each of her children. She celebrated their successes with such pride, and stood with them in support during their failures. Her needs were always placed second to those of her family, and she refused to have it any other way.

Gail’s greatest joy in life was time spent with her grandchildren. She treasured each child and prioritized quality time with them above all else. She never missed a school program, sports event, concert, or fundraiser. She looked forward to art projects with Gracie, dance parties with Avery, reading books with Isla, and snuggles with Luka.

Services will be held for Gail on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 at Oak Street Church at 502 Oak St., Silverton at 2 p.m. Flowers may be sent to Unger’s Funeral Chapel at 229 Mill St., Silverton, OR 97381.

In Memory Of

Marjorie Olsen

Scott Partch

Oct. 30, 1938 — Dec. 18, 2022

Aug. 2, 1954 — Dec. 20, 2022

Laurie LaPointe July 18, 1954 — Dec. 21, 2022

Janet Splonski Nov. 12, 1944 — Dec. 28, 2022

Lance Jones May 8, 1946 — Dec. 29, 2022

William Chisman March 16, 1960 — Dec. 29, 2022

Irene Sinn

Oct. 12, 1955 — Dec. 29, 2022

Barbara Harrell July 25, 1937 — Dec. 30, 2022

Michael Senyk April 21, 1938 — Dec. 31, 2022

James Moen Jan. 3, 1935 — Jan. 3, 2023

See full obituaries at www.ungerfuneralchapel.com

Your local funeral chapels serving Mt. Angel since 1919 & Silverton since 1924.

Always available at your time of need

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com January 2023 • 15 190 Railroad Ave. • Mt. Angel 229 Mill St. • Silverton 503-845-2592 503-873-5141
12, 1955 – Dec. 29, 2022
Nov. 12, 1944 – Dec. 28, 2022

Stop the Stigma Local psychiatrist offers annual scholarship

Normalizing mental health challenges has long been a priority of Audry Van Houweling, a Nurse Practitioner and owner of She Soars Psychiatry in Silverton and Sisters, Oregon.

“[M]ental health is not something that happens in the silos of healthcare offices,” Van Houweling said. “Many of us feel pressured to compartmentalize and do our best to conceal our struggles. If there are not safe places to emote in authenticity, it can be exhausting and really heavy.”

This can also be true, not only for those suffering with mental health issues, but for those close to them as well.

“We have all been touched on a personal level by mental illness…” Van Houweling confirmed. Adding, “We can do better.”

Which is why she created the Stop the Stigma Scholarship, a $2,500 allotment destined to help two graduating seniors – one from Silverton and one from Sisters – as a way of encouraging a younger generation endeavoring to both improve the future of mental health care and decrease the stigma of seeking help.

Stop the Stigma Scholarship

Opportunity available to graduating seniors of Silverton High Schools with an interest in improving mental health outcomes for future generations and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health care. www.shesoarspsych.com/local-scholarships

“My hope is that the mission of the scholarship will inspire students to take inventory of their own challenges, ask for help, work towards radical responsibility, and be an advocate for others facing emotional challenges,” Van Houweling said. Adding, “The art of asking for help is central to our wellness and resilience.”

Open to individuals planning to attend an accredited college, university or trade school in the fall of 2023 with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in healthcare, social work or education, the scholarships will be awarded by a five-person panel of healthcare and education-based professionals.

“I am most looking forward to hearing about future aspirations, stories of resilience, and the innovative ways young people can approach existing stigma and the accessibility of mental health,” Van Houweling said.

Because these are more than just scholarships to Van Houweling. They are the beginning of an important conversation.

“In some ways, I think this generation of young people is among the most educated and aware of mental health issues, which coincides with more willingness to seek help,” she said. “This is in many ways encouraging, but young people are also up against a lot of social pressures…”

Which is why Van Houweling thinks the Stop the Stigma Scholarship is so important, not only as a way of encouraging two individual seniors but the future of mental healthcare in the community at large.

“I am indebted to the communities of Silverton and Sisters for their support over the years,” Van Houweling said. “I saw a scholarship as a way to give back and honor future generations.”

16 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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Football tie-in Gridiron talent gives Fox wrestling a boost

Turnout is up for the Silverton High wrestling program and third-year coach Jared Wilson credits the football program and new coach Dan Lever for helping give wrestling a boost.

“We had over 50 register for wrestling, which is about ten more than last year,” Wilson told Our Town. “Coach Lever is a big advocate for the sport of wrestling and how it can help his athletes improve at football. His enthusiastic support has been a big help.”

Success in football, particularly for linemen and linebackers, often carries over into wrestling and some of the skills required – one-on-one challenges, strength and leverage – dovetail nicely. And Wilson knows the football talent because he serves as an assistant on the JV team.

Three of Wilson’s top athletes played on the Mid-Willamette Conference co-champion Foxes, sophomore Brash Henderson, senior Steven King and junior Xavier Orozco. Henderson took third at state last year, King is a two-time state placer and Orozco “has had a great start to the season as well. Especially considering this is his first year wrestling.” Wilson said.

Other top returners for the Foxes include Joshua Jones, Oscar Marks and Bo Zurcher, while Wilson has high hopes for freshman newcomer Kingston Meadors at 106 pounds.

“Our district is very competitive,” Wilson

said, “and we look forward to having the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the state. Our goal every year is to be a top 10 team in the state.”

The Foxes were sixth at districts last year

and ninth at state, with perennial MidWillamette powers Crescent Valley (first at state) and Dallas (fifth at state) always posing a challenge.

Wilson’s squad also features five female wrestlers, led by returnees Lilly Kamstra, Bella Moore and McKayla Bonham and newcomers Jasmine Myers and Yuli Bautista Lopez.

“Our girls wrestling program is coming along,” Wilson said. “I am extremely proud of their toughness, work ethic, and improvement throughout the season. The growth of women’s wrestling has been awesome for the sport. And we need to continue to work hard to grow women’s wrestling in our community. These girls are trail blazers!”

Swimming: Veteran Aqua Foxes coach Lucky Rogers has about 50 swimmers on the roster and said “we are off to a good start. We are working hard with our goal of being the best that we can be in February.”

Rogers, whose teams usually rely on depth and relay strength, thinks his squads should finish in the top 4 in the MidWillamette district meet, with the girls

perhaps having a shot at second.

Rogers has eight, four-year swimminers in the pool this year: Catherine Hyde, Lucy Fronza, Cece Petrik, Sarissa Schindler, and Kimberley Smith on the girls side and Nathan Barnes, Landon Miller, and Cade Mantie on the boys side.

Other top returners include Cordelia Bay, Joey Walker, Evie Smith, Emali Allen, Ella Mantie, and Erik Hayter. Promising newcomers include Nolan Horner, Lilli Miller, Chloe Griffin, Brody Hollis, Sawyer Beckman and Khylee Howell

Football: Silverton placed six athletes on the Class 5A all-state team selected by a statewide panel of coaches. Running back Jackson Pfeifer and defensive lineman Xavier Orozco were first-team choices from the Foxes, who finished 7-4 and advanced to the state quarterfinals before falling to Wilsonville.

Cohen Mulick was placed on the second team as a defensive back and received honorable mention as a wide receiver. Also honored were offensive linemen Sam Clements and Sam Schaffers, both of whom made the second team.

Got a news tip? Email me at james.d@mtangelpub.com. Follow me on Twitter @jameshday and Our Town on Facebook.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com January 2023 • 17 • Chiropractic * • Craniosacral T herapy • Reiki Energy Healing Illumination Chiropractic 690 N. Main Street located inside Mount Angel Wellness Text or Call: 971-599-2536 Schedule Online: illuminationchiropractic.janeapp.com Email: heydrkohn@gmail.com Hours: Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. / 2 – 5 p.m. RACHEL KOHN D.C., C.A.C. * Insurance not accepted
Sports & Recreation
Foxes wrestling coach Jared Wilson observes a match during a five-way dual competition at Corvallis High. SUBMITTED PHOTO Coach Lucky Rogers NORTHWEST SPORTS PHOTOGRAPNY

Sorting through memories

When I walked into my great grandmother’s house for the last time I was submerged by memories. The matriarch of our family, hers was the home in which we all gathered for holidays, after funerals and every day in between.

The house was small, simple and welcoming. There wasn’t a piece of furniture or a knickknack we kids couldn’t touch, nothing was forbidden. The epitome of hospitality, my grandmother was the ultimate hostess.

Sitting in her recliner, crocheting a dishcloth or rag rug, snacking on popcorn and watching her shows, my grandmother kept the door open, the heat on and the pantry stocked.

This was where my sister and I went after school, during the summer days and when we wanted to get away. Because my grandma told stories. She listened. She was a constant presence, even when we weren’t.

And then one day she was gone. The door to the house was locked, the heat turned off, the food in the refrigerator gone bad, everything cold to the touch. Because the spirit of the

house – my grandmother’s spirit – was gone, and with it the meaning behind every thing.

What was left felt like so much debris, things missing a purpose or story. The cigar lovingly wrapped in a handkerchief and tucked into a box now lacked meaning. Small notes, written in her lovely, looping hand were indecipherable without her help.

What should stay and what must go? We hesitated between the boxes destined for the thrift shop, the bins marked with our names and the already bulging trash cans. But she wasn’t there to ask.

Pictures and letters were easy and hard. Effortless to divide, they nevertheless reminded us how few had been sent, how

often she was met with an empty mailbox at the end of the day.

Clothes were easy too. Stacks of colorful sweatshirts and neatly pressed jeans that were meant only for her body, fit for no one else, destined to find a new home. But what of the more delicate items – her bras and underwear – we paused before opening the drawers. It felt wrong but necessary, sorting these things we had never felt compelled to touch in the private domain that had always been hers.

Easier was the kitchen, familiar and straightforward with fewer surprises. The refrigerator, a time capsule went back months and then years, to before she lost the energy and will to cook. The cupboards were the same. Spices from the 1970s and ’80s, giving off only the faintest aroma from their desiccated contents. Tools whose life began in a very different kitchen, on a backcountry ranch, where my grandmother’s task had been to feed the hired hands.

Some of these I took with me, history in the shape of cast iron pans whose

satiny finish is the work of years, a glass measuring cup, gone cloudy with use but which still holds some purpose, and a stack of cut-glass serving trays commemorating every holiday dinner and more memories than I can count.

Set against the mountains of things I would never see again, my stack of memorabilia seemed so small. I added a straw hat, a knitted afghan, an ironing board. My van took on the aroma of my childhood. I fought the urge to save more, to save everything.

And then I realized, thankfully, that I didn’t need to. What was really important – my memories of my grandma and the lessons that she taught me – were already there.

They’re in my belief that a house doesn’t need to be fancy if it’s home. That the door should always be open to family and friends. That telling your story is important but listening to the stories of others is essential. And that there’s no thing we can accumulate in this life that comes even close to the people we share it with.

18 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life A Slice of the Pie
SILVER FALLS FAMILY YMCA January 2023 503.873.6456 theYOnline.org YEAR-ROUND SWIM TEAM IS HAPPENING! Contact Megan with questions mcolgan@theYonline.org PRIVATE SWIM LESSON ARE AVAILABLE! Contact the pool for class times. Stay tuned for LIFEGUARD and FIRST AID/CPR classes! Dates should be released at the end of January. INTERESTED IN COACHING? We are looking for volunteer coaches for our Spring Sports! Volleyball, Flag Football and Track and Field! Contact Christina with questions cshipman@theYonline.org Holly Augustus (GRI, MRP, PSA) 503-689-4910 haugustus1@gmail.com Serving my hometown of Mt. Angel and surrounding areas. Broker licensed in Oregon
Mementos in mind

Place your ad in Marketplace 503-845-9499


Piano, trumpet, French horn. Will also teach music reading for any instrument, voice. Kind instructor, over 35 years exp. Ages 6 years to Senior Citizen. 541-281-2034



Installation and repair of fencing, decks,doors, gutter

cleaning, moss removal, power washing, yard debris removal. CCB# 206637 Call Ryan, 503-881-3802

GOT STUFF U WANT GONE? From yard debris to scrap metalFrom garage sale leftovers to rental clear outs. We repurpose, recycle, reuse or donate what we can. Call and find out what we can do for you. $20 minimum. Keith 503-502-3462


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LID FOR LARGE CROCK #10 Pacific Stoneware. 503-873-4589

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com January 2023 • 19

#T2760 CLASSIC 1920’s

HOME $431,000

Classic 1920’s Silverton home with much original character on 0.2 acres. Original built ins. New flooring and new paint throughout home. Room off kitchen previously used as primary bedroom. Long driveway allows room for RV. Detached carport with shed. Established grape vine & room for garden. Great location; close to downtown. Call Whitney at ext. 320, Mike at ext. 312 (WVMLS#800099)

#T2751 50+ ACRE FARM

$849,000 50+ Acre Farm on Edge of Silverton! Views of Mt. Angel Abbey Hill. 100+ year old Farm House. A Fixer w/ good bones. Unfinished basement not included in sqft. 1.5 Miles from Silverton. Shop & Barn. Silver Falls School Dist. Large wood lot has potential to add more farm ground. Property sold As-Is. No heat. Flat tillable amity soils currently in berry production. Farm lease expired Dec. 1, 2022. Trellis system shall be removed. Call Michael at ext. 314 (WVMLS#798210)



Lot currently being used Conditional Commercial use, zoned Residential (RRFF-5). Great location for Hwy 213 frontage, lot located in downtown Marquam. Existing structure is 24 x 36ft with power and telephone. Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 (WVMLS#773635)



$704,900 New construction in Pioneer Village with up to 2 POINTS towards rate BUY DOWN. Take a look at the quality finishes, Great room w/gas fireplace, dining area, and open kitchen w/island. Includes stainless steel appliances, FA gas heat, AC, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, master suite & bath w/large walk-in closet, & Mudroom, located between kitchen & garage w/access to backyard patio. Exterior is fenced and landscaped with irrigation system. RV pad next to garage provides space for extra parking. Must see today!! (WVMLS#795880)


20 • January 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life Chuck White Broker 873-3545 ext. 325 Mason Branstetter Principal Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 303 Kirsten Barnes Broker 873-3545 ext. 326 Whitney Ulven Broker, GRI 503-873-3545 ext. 320 Mike Ulven Broker 503-873-3545 ext. 312 WWW.SILVERTONREALTY.COM #T2733 PIONEER VILLAGE 4 BR, 2.5 BA 2577 sqft Call Chuck at ext. 325 $739,900 (WVMLS#791519) #T2749 NEW CONSTRUCTION 3 BR, 2.5 BA 2083 sqft Call Chuck at ext. 325 $704,900 (WVMLS#795880) #T2750 BEAUTIFUL NEW CONSTRUCTION 4 BR, 2.5 BA 2577 sqft Call Chuck at ext. 325 $739,900 (WVMLS#795882) #T2751 50+ ACRE FARM 3 BR, 1 BA 1624 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $849,000 (WVMLS#798210) #T2760 – CLASSIC 1920’s HOME 3 BR, 1.5 BA 1328 sqft Call Whitney at ext. 320 or Mike at ext. 312 $431,000 (WVMLS#800099) #T2751 50+ ACRE FARM 3 BR, 1 BA 1624 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $849,000 (WVMLS#798210) #T2761 GREAT OPPORTUNITY 1.66 Acres. Salem. Call Whitney at ext. 320 or Mike at ext. 312 $199,000 (WVMLS#800102) #T2646 HWY 213 .30 Acres. Molalla. Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 $149,500 (WVMLS#773635 #T2756 2 1901 FARMHOUSE
5 BR, 3.5 BA 3486 sqft Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 $732,800 (WVMLS#797010)
BROKERS ARE LICENSED IN OREGON Meredith Wertz Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 324 Ryan Wertz Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 322
Sanders Property Manager 873-3545 ext. 311
Office Manager 873-1425
Craig Principal Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 313
Schmidt Principal Broker GRI 873-3545 ext. 314
Secretary 873-3545 ext. 300 Jason Marshall Broker 873-3545 ext 302 SILVERTON SILVERTON Rentals available in Silverton and Surrounding Areas. For Rental Info Call Sarah at 873-3545 ext. 311 or Micha at 503-873-1425 or Check Our Website. COUNTRY/ACREAGE BARELAND/LOTS SCOTTS
Micha Christman
Tayler Whitaker