Our Town North: April 15, 2023

Page 1

Our Town P.O. Box 927 Mt. Angel, Or 97362 COMMUNITY NEWS POSTAL CUSTOMER ECRWSS Sports & Recreation Softball, baseball season update – Page 17 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR PERMIT NO. 854 Arts & Entertainment Muralist pays tribute to Pratum’s late landmark – Page 10 Looking Back Benedictine Sisters –Finding a path amid obstacles – Page 12 Teachers take to the streets – Page 6 Vol. 20 No. 8 Serving Mt. Angel, Silverton and Scotts Mills April 2023

acres, Ridge Top farm, valley views, 1696 sq. ft home, needs TLC, barn, shed, pasture. 42820 Mount Pleasant Dr., Scio. MLS#794561


acre farm, 1 BD, 1 BA. home, pastoral views! 63 acres planted in grass seed plus timber land. 33950 Bellinger Scale Rd., Lebanon. MLS#794268


acres buildable, Valley views! Standard septic approved. Quality Dory & Nekia soils. 42480 Mount Pleasant Dr., Scio. MLS#794562


27.50 acres, creek, 30-year old timber. Excellent investment. Buildable. Crooked Finger Rd. Scotts Mills. MLS#785744

$848,000 21.20 acres, 3 bedrooms, 1 ba. lodge style home, 24x48 shop with water & power. 20 yr.plus timber, borders BLM. Seller contract. 20739 Hazelnut Ridge Rd. NE, Scotts Mills. MLS#802816


Investors, 64.41 acres, 3 adjoining homesites, 2 @ 5 acres, 1 @ 54 acres. Kingston-Lyons Dr., Stayton. MLS#788228

$760,000 Renovated, single level home, 4 bd, 2ba, 2437 sq ft, on 1.02 acres. Mt Hood Views! 16826 Butteville Rd. NE, Woodburn. MLS#791368


3.85 acres. Prestige Estate property, path of progress potential. 835 Grouse St. NE, Silverton. Sellers will consider carrying a contract.



Beautiful renovated Craftsman Home, 4 bd, 2 ba. 1900 sq ft. on 1.30 acres. Outstanding Valley Views! Cell tower income included. 14448 Evans Valley Rd. NE, Silverton. MLS#792811


120.50 Acres, Recreation or Timber land, Reprod Timber, road system, Ideal for RV/ Campsite. Maple Grove, Molalla. MLS#802319


Renovated & updated Craftsman Home, 4 bed, 2 ba. 2784 sq. ft. 30x40 shop, Custom fence & gates. 295 Cleveland St., Mount Angel. MLS#793598

Price Reduced $339,000

2 acres buildable homesite, views! Approved for standard septic & well. 7685 Dovich Ln SE, Turner. MLS#778883


3.080 acres, private building site in city limits, maybe dividable. SW exposure. Standard Ave., Brownsville. MLS#777782


3 bed, 1 ba. vintage home, on 4.41 acres. farm bldg. Dividable & buildable. On the edge of Silverton. 15056 Quall Rd., Silverton. MLS#799863

$127,500 Buildable residential lot, 7650 sq. ft. City water and sewer available. Property has iconic water tower located on it. 617 Keene Ave. Silverton. MLS#802507

2 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life LICENSED IN OREGON AND SERVING YOU FROM OFFICES IN SILVERTON, NEWBERG AND M c MINNVILLE 216 E. Main St., Silverton • Office: 503-874-1540 www.TheBellaCasaGroup.com Buy. Sell. Be Happy.
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On the Cover

and their supporters march to downtown Silverton April 4 from Silverton Middle School.

Election Time!

Ballots have been mailed out! If you are an active Member and do not receive one by April 20, please contact the Silverton Senior Center. Deadline to vote is April 21, 2023.

Huge Thanks!

... to those who helped get the Election mailing done and out... Connie Barkley who truly organized and agonized over it, and Tracy Duerst, Nellie Graves, Kathy Hunter, Dixie Springer, Rose Hope, Mary Cumins, Cande Pressnall, Kay Strobel, Sue Rivoli, Joann Brown, Bob Wells and Silverton Realty!

Spring Tea

in honor of Mother’s Day is Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 2 – 4 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and will be on sale April 17 at the Silverton Senior Center at 115 Westfield St. Limited tickets available.

April Programs + One Reminder!

Monday, April 17

5:30 p.m.: Life Coach & Retirement with guide, Annette Jensen presenting topics related to Retiring Joyfully. $35

6:00 p.m.: Suzy Lindgren of Joyful Solutions will be presenting “Detoxify & Thrive.” Free!

Thursday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. is American Sign Language Class for $20

More Thanks!

... to Trish Jensen, The Oregon Garden, Silverton Grange, Barn Dog Quilts, Silverton Garden Club, Jo Aerne, Erin Gruetzman & Little Sunshine Flower Farm, Betty Layne, Kay Strobel, Dixie Springer, Mary Cumin sans Cande Pressnall for participating and helping with the Plant & Yard Art Sale, and Al’s Garden & Home Center for donating the Door Prize!



NE SALEM – Spacious 4BR, 2.5BA, 2 story home with double garage. Kitchen appliances include gas range, refrigerator, dishwasher. Loft area at the top of the stairs, Fenced backyard with patio. 1,880 SF of beautiful home! NO PETS & NO SMOKING $2,790/mo

SILVERTON – Very clean 2BR, 2.5BA condo in Silverton’s Hawthorne Village. Single garage, new range and dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryer. New carpet, fresh paint. Landscape maintenance included. Tenant pays all utilities. NO PETS & NO SMOKING please $1,850/mo

SILVERTON – Nice 2BR, 2BA duplex in Hawthorne Village. Kitchen appliances, attached dbl garage, landscape maintenance included. Lots of trees, parklike setting and walking paths. NO PETS & NO SMOKING please $1,850/mo

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2023 • 3 Civics 101 Silvertonhit with DEQ fine ........ 4 MASD bond focuses on needs .... 5 Teachers union holds first rally ... 6 School district candidates weigh in on negotiations ......... 7 Something to Do Volunteer projects for Earth Day ............................... 8 Something to Celebrate Teacher awarded ‘Classroom of the Month’ by KPTV .............9 Arts & Entertainment Preserving memories of Pratum’s lost grain elevator ... 10 Business Curbside Kitchen goes Italian .. 11 Looking Back Benedictine Sisters –the origin story ..................... 12 Silverton’s railroad bridge turns 100 .............................. 14 Legal Matters ........... 13 Passages ....................... 16 Sports & Recreation Young team, good prospects .. 17 A Slice of the Pie...... 18 Marketplace .............. 18 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 May 1 issue is April 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 Janet Patterson Distribution Melissa Wagoner Reporter Stephen Floyd Digital Editor & Reporter Sara Morgan Datebook Editor Contents
Teachers with the Silver Falls Education
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Fine appealed DEQ presents Silverton a $42K bill for wastewater discharge

Silverton is facing a $42,130 fine from the state for illegal discharges of wastewater, and city officials have appealed the decision.

Silverton was notified Feb. 7 by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that it had exceeded the permitted levels of ammonia 32 times and for total suspended solids 24 times between May 2021 and August 2022.

City officials, speaking at the April 3 city council meeting, agreed that the violations occurred but said that they involved errors by an employee who is no longer with the city. They have asked that the fines be reduced. City officials also said that they have altered water treatment plant procedures to make it less likely that further illegal discharges can occur and noted that no further violations have been discovered since August.

Five residents spoke about the issue during the meeting, some of them hyperbolically (one resident called the discharges an

“environmental catastrophe”), some cynically (one questioned whether city officials were familiar with the city’s water master plan).

The city’s fine/violation history goes back to 2006, with one resident claiming that the city has paid $180,000 in fines. City officials did not dispute that number. During council deliberations a request was made to assemble a spread sheet that summarizes the history of violations as well as an index on the city’s discharges and water quality on the city website.

Mayor Jason Freilinger said he thinks the council needs a work session to grind its way through all of the issues.

“I want the whole community to be involved,” he said. “We dropped the ball as a community and I take responsibility for that.”

The DEQ announced 16 statewide fines in a March 23 press release. Six of the cases were for air quality issues and those fines were less than $1,300. The Silverton fine

was the largest. Next was $32,219 at the Willamette View senior living community in Portland for problems with underground storage tanks. The fines were levied against one other agency, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and 14 industrial users. In other action from the April 3 meeting: Housing Project: Neighbors along Cowing Street near Silver Creek just south of the pool have expressed concerns about the work on a new duplex and accessory dwelling unit that are filling the backyard of a rental house at the Cowing-Barger corner. Two residents spoke at the April 3 meeting, with proper notification about the utility work required by the project the main concern. Because the city has the right to place utilities toward the front edge of properties a number of the Cowing Street neighbors wound up with partially dug up yards amid promises from the developer to restore the landscaping to its earlier condition.

No action was taken at the meeting, with

the discussion favoring a look at some new code language that would formalize the notification process.

Sheltering Silverton: Shelterton Silverton’s effort to establish a warming shelter and pallet shelters for the homeless at the city shops was dealt a setback when bids came in too high for the project. The city had $250,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, but the lone bid for the work came in at $471,855. It remained unclear at Our Town’s presstime what next steps might be for the project.

Tree City: Silverton is a Tree City USA for the third consecutive year. Mayor Jason Freilinger read a proclamation about the honor at the start of the meeting. To become part of the program, which is administered by the Arbor Day Foundation, cities must maintain a tree board or department, have a community tree ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrate Arbor Day.

4 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life Civics 101 Quilt Show Mid-Valley Quilt Guild April 21-22, 2023 Polk County Fairgrounds Rickreall, Oregon 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Tickets $8.00 VOTE! P hil Wiesner for Silver Falls School District Board of Directors Spring F ling Auction 33rd Annual Sacred Heart Catholic School Saturday, April 22 Doors open at 5 pm 515 Seventh St., Gervais 503-792-4541 Tickets: $60 • Available at School Office or from a Parent Includes: Dinner, Dessert & Drinks! ‘Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.’ – St. Pio of Pietreclina

On the ballot For Mt. Angel $7M bond gets $11M in school repairs if passed

Officials with the Mt. Angel School District say a $7 million bond measure is about improving critical infrastructure rather than giving buildings a facelift.

It’s about needs, not wants, plus a one-time statesponsored opportunity to get $11 million in repairs with a $7 million bond. School Board Chair Shari Riedman said the new bond is for improvements of “utmost importance.”

“We have systems in our buildings to keep (students) heated and dry, and those systems are reaching their end of life cycle,” said Riedman. “Regardless of what maintenance we do on those systems they’re going to need to be replaced and overhauled.”

Those repairs include replacing or repairing the HVAC systems at each of the schools, estimated to cost roughly $2 million per school. At Mt.Angel Middle School the boiler is over 50 years old.

The bond will appear on the ballot for the May 16 election.

If passed, the new bond would be paired with a $4 million state grant as part of a program to encourage bond support in smaller districts. Riedman said this is an additional

See for yourself - school tours

Mt. Angel Middle School

460 E. Marquam St. - meet in gym

Tuesday, April 25, 6 - 7 p.m.

St. Mary’s Public School

590 E. College Ave. - meet in gym

Wednesday, April 26, 6 - 7 p.m.

Kennedy High School

590 E. Marquam - meet in Commons area

Thursday, April 27, 6 - 7 p.m.

Tours will be conducted by the school principals and the district maintenance director.

reason to support the bond, as the state grant will not be available if the measure does not pass.

“We’re taking advantage of every funding source we can,” she said.

Additional “must dos” on the district’s list include plumbing and electrical repairs at each school, plus security upgrades to school entryways and each classroom.

The entire school-by-school project list along with estimated costs can be found at www.masd91.org by clicking on the Facility/Bond Info button.

District Business Manager Kristi Brackinreed said it is unlikely the district would be able to fund these system repairs and upgrades without a bond, noting the entire budget for regular repairs and maintenance this year is $400,000.

The district is holding public tours at each school to explain the proposed projects and answer questions. For details see info box at left.

If passed, the bond would increase property taxes by a projected $1.12 per thousand dollars of assessed value for the first eight years, then property owners would see their total assessment for the district drop with the retirement of a $10 million bond passed in 2013.

Superintendent Rachel Stuckey said the proposed improvements represent the bare bones of what the district believes is necessary for student well-being.

“This is not about wants,” said Stuckey. “This bond is entirely different in that it’s about needs...We need our kids to be safe, warm and dry.”

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We, at Marquam United Methodist Church would like to invite all who would enjoy worshipping in a country setting, to come visit (right next door to the Markum Inn).

All are welcome.

Simple worship and fellowship are important to us. Come and see!

Pastor Michele Holloway

Worship & Sunday School: 9:30 a.m. Fellowship time following worship.

Sign of the times SFEA marches downtown

It was an unprecedented week for the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), between a rally in Downtown Silverton and a meeting directly with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board.

The district and union continue to negotiate a contract one year after bargaining began in April of 2022. A sixth mediation session is scheduled for April 17. If an agreement is not reached the union can strike after April 23.

In a first-of-its-kind rally April 4, teachers and their supporters took to the streets to call for reasonable class sizes and fair pay. Chants of “Red for ed” and “You left us no choice, we have to use our teacher voice,” echoed down South Water Street. as demonstrators marched from to the city center.

SFEA President Alison Stoflus said recent bargaining sessions with the district have been frustrating because the district remains firm on class size policy despite compromises from the union. Stoflus said the union is willing to drop language providing pay bumps for some teachers with large classes, while the district insists it will not accept a proposal with specific class size targets.

“I feel like we bent over backwards and they just keep digging in their heels,” said Stoflus. “...Just saying, ‘No, no, no,’ is not bargaining.”

Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch has said the district does not want a policy that holds administrators accountable for factors they cannot control and creates uncertain financial burdens.

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Stoflus said teachers were also upset after a March 23 school board meeting when some board members described SFEA’s proposal as “perverse incentives.” The term is used in economics to describe regulations that reward bad actors, and board members argued the proposed pay bump could encourage teachers to misuse the policy.

Stoflus said teachers were “completely outraged” by this description of their proposal, especially the notion that they would overwork themselves for a small pay increase. She said teaching is already a heavier burden after the COVID-19 pandemic, and SFEA believes class size goals will help manage these changing classroom dynamics.

Bargaining Timeline

April 2022: Bargaining for three-year contract begins.

SFEA representatives said specific class size targets would be proactive by triggering a process to resolve problems, rather than a reactive policy that depended on teachers to raise individual concerns. They said teachers who feel uncertain, especially new educators, may not take action in a reactive system, while principals who do not have clear remedies may struggle to find solutions.

Sept. 6, 2022: School year starts under expired contract.

Dec. 1 2022: Parties agree to enter mediation.

Feb. 7: Mediation begins.

March 17: Impasse declared, strike authorized, mediation continues.

March 24: Final offer submitted, 30-day cooling off period begins.

April 17: Sixth mediation session scheduled.

April 23: End of 30-day cooling off period. Final offer may be accepted, or teachers may strike.

After the March 23 meeting, teachers reached out to the board and asked if SFEA could present its bargaining position directly. This was not normal protocol as the board is not authorized to negotiate, and because board meetings are not usually back-and-forth dialogues with the public.

During the board’s regular meeting April 10, Board Chair Jennifer Traeger said an exception would be made to these policies, provided they simply exchanged information and did not engage in negotiations.

“What we have the potential to gain is perspective,” Traeger told the board.

Union reps said they appreciated a recent proposal from SFSD that provided clearer remedies, including a 1 percent pay stipend for teachers with class size issues that could not be resolved. Stipends would be paid from a $30,000 annual pool and would stop once the funding ran out, ensuring the district would have predictable costs.

The proposed policy did not include specific class targets. Stolfus told the board, once the district and union come to terms on class size, SFEA anticipates being ready to settle on other outstanding contract terms.

Board Member Jonathan Edmonds expressed concerns about “arbitrary” class size standards, saying classrooms deserve individual attention the same way students do. He also said the idea of blended classrooms and student transfers could negatively impact SFSD’s K-8 structure.

SFEA said proposed targets are not arbitrary but based on research about student performance. Stoflus said, if for some reason the language adopted in the contract does not work or becomes too expensive, parties could reopen the contract.

Edmonds also said he was concerned the union’s proposal would not solve an actual problem and would create “strange incentives.” Stoflus said the board will have to take teachers at their word as professionals that they will not exploit the policy.

Traeger said she believes clear boundaries are important, while it is also important for administrators to make fluid decisions. She also said she thought the discussion that night brought to light the motivations of the union that had been missing from many board discussions.

6 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
Civics 101
N. Water St., Silverton Wed – Fri 11am-10pm • Sat – Sun 9am-10pm
Teachers with the Silver Falls Education Association and their supporters rally in Downtown Silverton April 4. STEPHEN FLOYD

The path forward Candidates weigh in on Silver Falls negotiation woes

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 candidates.

An initial round of answers is below. Additional questions and responses will be in the May 1 edition of Our Town Question: How would you describe the district’s relationship with the teacher’s union, and what would you do to strengthen that relationship?

Zone 1

• Philip Wiesner said there is a discernible feeling of mistrust between the parties. He said the district and union need to look beyond their differences, but not before looking hard at why their relationship became so contentious.

“In general, negotiations get viewed as a money argument,” said Wiesner “This has signs of being much more than that and something money can’t solve long-term.”

• Jo Tucker has been watching both sides and said some of the rhetoric from the district has gone too far, such as the term “perverse incentives” used recently by the board to describe SFEA’s class size proposals. She said the relationship with SFEA can be fixed, which is vital for students, staff and the administration.

“I think people need to be truly heard and respected,” said Tucker. “They need to feel and actually be supported. I have faith that things can and will get better.”


In the April 1 issue of  Our Town, the article titled “In the ring – Eight file for four seats on SFSD Board” should have referred to Jo Tucker by the personal pronoun “she.”

The article should have also included a brief biography on Eliza Torlyn. She has raised her children in the

Zone 3

• Derrick Foxworth Jr. acknowledged there is tension between the district and union, and hopes they can find a negotiated solution that gives both sides what they need. He said, if elected, he would push for creation of a Teacher Advisor Committee to meet regularly and offer guidance to the board on issues affecting educators.

“I find that those closest to the work often have great ideas and solutions,” said Foxworth. “I think the creation of such a group would provide teachers with a greater and more consistent voice at the district level.”

• Dixon Bledsoe said the relationship “is in dire need of help” after a “brutal” year of collective bargaining, and the path forward will involve listening more, talking less and being honest. He said there would be no winners in a strike and hopes a compromise solution can be found.

“As we come out of COVID, which was devastating in so many ways, it does make intuitive and logical sense to compromise on the last two remaining areas of dispute (class size and compensation) so that we can keep kids in school learning,” said Bledsoe.

Zone 6

• Eliza Torlyn said she would be disappointed to see a strike and hopes both sides reach an agreement beforehand. She said a collective bargaining agreement must be competitive enough to attract skilled teachers, but within the means the district is able to allow.

“To help strengthen the relationship between ‘the district’ and ‘the teachers,’ I would encourage them to listen to each other with a compassionate ear, to express

district and has served on the SFSD Bond Advisory Committee, Superintendent Listening Session Workgroup, Long Range Facility Planning Committee, and served as Butte Creek PTT President. This would be her first time in elected public office.

Our Town apologies for these errors.

SFSD candidate forum at Silverton Grange

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 opportunity to ask questions. The event will be moderated by Grange President Cayla Catino.

All eight candidates have confirmed they plan to attend. The Grange said it will

not be endorsing any candidates and said the evening will simply be informational.

Those running for the School Board are:

Zone 1

Jo Tucker, a former special education assistant for the district and currently an Oregon Department of Education employee.

Phil Wiesner, a farmer and retired teacher with 36 years of experience at local schools.

Zone 3

Dixon Bledsoe, a real estate broker and former co-owner of BST Realty.

Derrick Foxworth Jr., a lieutenant with the

gratitude for the work each team is doing, and to actively review together what does and doesn’t work with their mutual expectations,” said Torlyn.

• Joshua Ort said prolonged labor negotiations are just one factor straining the relationship between the district and teachers. He said student behavioral issues related to the COVID-19 years, a new K-8 configuration, and new curriculum standards have made teaching a more difficult challenge.

“To strengthen this relationship, I believe that fostering an attitude of openness and a willingness to listen and learn from both parties is essential,” said Ort, who also called on parents to become more actively involved in supporting educators.

Zone 7

• Incumbent Board Member Tom Buchholz said the relationship was “more difficult than it should be.” He said both parties want what is best for students and teachers, like appropriate pay and class size, which begs the question, ”Why are

Portland Police Bureau.

Zone 6

Joshua Ort, a chiropractor and owner of Ort Chiropractic Clinic.

Eliza Torlyn, a local artist and owner of Jedi Glassworks and Stickum Prints.

Zone 7

Tom Buchholz, an incumbent board member, business owner and farmer.

Jesse Smith, a full time parent with a multimedia background, and recent Democratic candidate for Oregon Representative District 18.

we fighting?”

“I would like to see a joint statement of shared values that the teachers and the district agree to that both parties can send to lawmakers in Salem and we can refer back to when tensions arise,” said Buchholz. “The vast majority of resources and rules are directed from Salem and the most effective change for our kids will occur from there.”

• Jesse Smith said the relationship is “contentious” and acknowledged the disappointment some teachers must have felt during recent stalled mediation sessions. He said both parties are ultimately part of the same team and need to balance the district’s budget with the need for competitive contracts.

“We have to work together, we have to respect one another, and we have to listen in good faith,” said Smith. “...And unfortunately the current members of the School Board haven’t been able to do that. So I hope our community will agree that it’s time for a change in leadership.”

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2023 • 7

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Something to Do

Earth Day

Sustainable Silverton will be hosting Earth Day Projects on Saturday, April 22 and volunteers are welcome.

Hands-on help needed

that kills plants below it. Removing these invasive plants will free up the native plants to thrive.”

The day will start with a 9 a.m. effort to remove invasive species at Old Mill Park near Salamander Island at the end of Cowing Street. In the afternoon two oak sapling protection projects are set, at 2 p.m. at the new grove at Mark Twain Elementary School and at 3 p.m. just south of the skatepark by the Silverton Senior Center.

Eric Hammond, board member with Sustainable Silverton, noted that the Salamander Island area “is overrun with ivy, blackberries, holly and hawthorn. These plants in particular pose very serious dangers to native plants. This site, which a lot of people probably don’t even realize is in the park, is small but ecologically very rich.

“Right now the fawn lily is blooming there but is being smothered by ivy. Camas is scattered across the site, too, but is unable to reseed because of the ivy. Holly grows with dense foliage and casts heavy shade

Those who want to help, Hammond said, are asked to come with thick gloves, long sleeves, pruning shears “and a willingness to help and learn.”

After the 2021 ice storm 300 white oak seedlings were planted, 200 next to the grove at the north end of Mark Twain Elementary School and 100 more near the skatepark. The Mark Twain plantings replaced those trees lost in the ice storm. The skatepark trees are designed to serve as an oak reserve. The trees will be moved to locations in Silverton where needed.

The volunteer work will be aimed, Hammond said, at “securing protection tubes around the young oak trees so they grow without deer browsing them.”

“This is a very easy project, but a great one for young kids to help with,” Hammond said. “They can learn about the role the oaks traditionally filled in Silverton and how these saplings will do that into the future.”

8 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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Something to Celebrate

Top class Butte Creek social studies teacher receives statewide recognition

When Emily Rau received an email from KPTV FOX 12 Oregon informing her that her classroom at Butte Creek Elementary School was being named Classroom of the Month for March 2023 she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“I thought it was spam,” she laughed. “So, I Googled it.”

Secretly nominated by her husband, Jim Rau – who had seen an advertisement while watching a football game in December 2022 – Rau was not only recognized by FOX 12 but she was gifted the contents of an Amazon wish list worth $1,000 by the Oregon Freemasons – the sponsors of the award.

“I got a lot of seating options for the kids, regular classroom supplies, covers for some of the lights so it’s more outdoorsy, and I got a desk for myself,” Rau said, motioning toward the desk she’s currently

using, which is actually a student desk, repurposed for an adult. “Next year I’ll have a class of 33 and I only have 32 desks, so I wouldn’t have one.”

It’s just one of the many ways the award will be of help to Rau, who – like so many teachers she knows – often pays for classroom supplies herself.

“Everything around the classroom, with the exception of the desks, I bought,” Rau said. “So, it was nice to buy those things I know my classroom could use.”

It was also nice – if a little uncomfortable –to receive recognition for her hard work.

“It was weird,” she admitted, describing the news crew that arrived to record her


Dear Voter,

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We are blessed to have one of the best districts in Oregon, yet our state consistently ranks in the bottom half for K-12 education in the country. There is room for improvement and work to be done!

As your board member I will work to:

• Create a renewed focus on meeting grade level standards in math, reading, writing, and science

• Provide resources for those students who need a little extra help to meet standards

• Ensure we are challenging those students excelling beyond grade level standards

• Be fiscally responsible with your taxes by maximizing every dollar spent

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Leadership class in midMarch. “I don’t do well with that stuff. To be recognized this way, and see other teachers not recognized, is odd.”

A middle school social studies and leadership teacher for grades five through eight at Butte Creek Elementary School – her first permanent classroom assignment – Rau said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“I played lacrosse and I always loved helping with the middle school and high school kids,” she recalled, describing the ways middle schoolers, like those in her current classroom, are fun to teach.

“The kids are in a sweet spot of finding

out who they are and still enjoying being at school,” she said. “They like it when you’re real with them and yet they still get excited about the little things.”

Little things like their teacher winning an award worth $1,000.

“All of the kids got to open [the Amazon packages] and they were shocked,” Rau recalled. “I had told the kids the money was for our classroom but they were surprised that the money was for stuff they could use. It just doesn’t happen in little K-8 schools like this.”

But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen in more schools like Butte Creek because, while it was Rau’s classroom that was acknowledged as one of the best this time, she views the entire staff of Butte Creek as deserving of a similar award.

“It’s the best little school,” she said.

• Retain and Hire great teachers

• Enhance School Safety

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2023 • 9
• Maintain our K-8 and in-town model
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by the Marion County Republican Party • Paid for by Elect Derrick Foxworth Jr.
Butte Creek Middle School social studies teacher, Emily Rau. MELISSA WAGONER

Pratum memories

It was forbidden love – not farming – that was on Whitney Davis’s mind the first time she noticed the old wooden grain elevator outside Pratum.

“I had met my high school sweetheart, Cody Glennie, my sophomore year,” Davis – who graduated from Silverton High School in 2010 – said. “He grew up in Pratum, just a stone’s throw away from the grain elevator.”

Warned they needed to stay away from each other before they “got into trouble,” Davis nevertheless pined for Glennie each time she scanned the horizon.

“Every time I would drive those country roads I could see the grain elevator high above all the farmers’ fields and always think of my ‘secret’ boyfriend and feel those good old butterflies,” Davis recalled.

It’s a feeling Davis has never forgotten, even as her relationship with Glennie has progressed beyond the ‘secret’ realm.

“Years later we are still together and still very much in love,” she confirmed.

Which is why, in September 2022 Davis – now an artist – set out to paint a mural that would commemorate their relationship.

“The mural is out of the real public eye, it’s actually on the side of our barn,” she said of the painting, which features a bald eagle clutching a sheaf of wheat with the grain elevator emblazoned across its chest. “It simply was just for our own enjoyment.”

But when she discovered, only a few days after finishing the project, that the grain elevator had been torn down, she decided to share photos of the mural with the community that was now grieving its removal.

“Glad I get to keep a little piece of its history here in Pratum,” Davis wrote on the post, which was shortly joined by others bemoaning the loss of a building that had become an iconic part of Pratum’s skyline.

“It was a nice location to practice my rising moon shots,” hobbyist photographer Ulrich Burkhalter said when asked about the hundreds of photographs of the grain elevator he has taken over the years.

In fact, Burkhalter has taken so many, that the Pratum  Co-op began using them in their own publications, which is how Burkhalter himself learned that the building was to be torn down.

“I kind of got to know the workers there,” he said. “At one occasion I asked if I could see the interior of the elevator and its long time operator gave me a tour of it.”

Attending the demolition on Sept. 7, 2022 with his wife, Heidi, Burkhalter took the last set of pictures of the grain elevator, first as it was dismantled, then of the open sky. Later, Heidi posted the photos on Facebook with the caption, “Bittersweet moment.”

Which is why Davis is so glad to have her mural.

“I’m very grateful that timing somehow worked out…” she said. “I didn’t go a single day without seeing the elevator and thinking of my honey.”

10 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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La passione! Curbside Kitchen gets Italian makeover

The Curbside Kitchen in downtown Silverton recently received an Italian makeover thanks to new owners, Giulia Burato and Pietro Sangiorgi, who purchased the business from founder Holly Bell.

“I have an elderly mother in Southern California that I need to take care of,” Bell said of the impetus for the sale. “So, it’s semi-retirement, I guess. But I’m super excited about them coming in. I think they’ll do very well. It’s a niche that’ll be well received.”

Originally from Verona, Italy – where Sangiorgi was working as a certified public accountant and Burato as a medical doctor – the couple settled initially in New York but found it a less than ideal place to raise their six-yearold daughter.

“We prefer a life that’s slow for our family,” Sangiorgi confirmed.

And so the couple set their sights on Oregon, finding Silverton – and a listing for The Curbside Kitchen –largely by chance.

“We saw the picture of this location – it’s very nice,” Burato recounted. “We like that from the street people can see us cooking.”

While owning a restaurant wasn’t their original plan, cooking – especially Italian food – has long been a passion.

The Curbside Kitchen

201 Oak St., Silverton

“In Italy we cooked for parties and family and on Christmas day,” Burato began.

Monday – Saturday

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

www.thecurbsidek.com, Facebook and Instagram

“So, when we came here we said, why don’t we cook the food we love?” Sangiorgi said. And that’s just what they plan to do by adding Italian classics, like Burato’s mother’s tiramisu, and Sicilian treasures, like sfincione, a popular pizza in Sicily, to the original Curbside Kitchen menu.

“People love our food because it’s different,” Burato said of the response they’ve received so far. “People especially love the tiramisu. We sold out immediately.”

In fact, according to Bell – who spent several days working with the couple – each of the new menu items sold out as soon as it was added, a phenomenon Sangiorgi hopes signals future success.

“We hope that people will like us,” he said. To which Bell answered with confidence, “This town is very supportive.”

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Giulia Burato and Pietro Sangiorgi, the new owners of Curbside Kitchen in Silverton. MELISSA WAGONER

Looking Back

Perseverance Benedictine Sisters’ move continues tradition

The Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel aren’t disbanding when they move out of Queen of Angels Monastery this summer.

In fact, the order made an impact far and wide without a long-term home after they arrived in Oregon 141 years ago.

Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer, the monastery’s former prioress and a member of the order, said departing the building is one more opportunity for the Sisters to find joy in adversity.

“We will continue our monastic life of prayer and work, of hospitality,” she said. “We’ll volunteer wherever we can… We will continue as long as there is a Benedictine Sister alive.”

Beyer spoke at length with Our Town about the upcoming transition from Queen of Angels Monastery, as well as the long and dynamic history of the Sisters. This is the first in a series of articles about the Benedictine Sisters and the future of the building and property.

The series draws heavily from A Tree

Rooted in Faith, by Sister Alberta Dieker, a thoroughly-researched history of the order published in 2007.

Oregon had been a state for only 23 years when a group of Swiss nuns and sistersin-training arrived to found a Benedictine mission. They were looking for a locale suitable to the remoteness and solemnity of monastic life. The wide, mountainous wilderness of the Pacific Northwest fit the


They arrived in Gervais on Oct. 30, 1882, to serve a parish with German, French and Irish immigrants. However, the convent they expected to occupy was not finished, and the Sisters had no place to call home.

Beyer said this was the first of many “bumps” the order would encounter throughout the decades. Like many challenges, it became a “blessing in disguise,” she said, and the Sisters found a creative solution.

Parishioners initially opened their homes to the unexpectedly-displaced group. But the convent would not be ready for several months and a more robust solution was needed.

A local woman, identified by Dieker as Mrs. Matt, offered an abandoned saloon where the Sisters could stay rent-free. It was a fixer-upper, and after a few days of repairs the Sisters moved into their first official home in their new parish. The rough arrival did not slow down the Sisters’ mission, as two days later, on

Nov. 1, 1882, four nuns set out to support a Native American boarding school in Grand Ronde. Among them was Sister Bernardine Wachter, who had taken an unofficial leadership role and would later be credited as the foundress of the order.

Beyer said one of the main goals of the order was to establish Catholic schools in Western Oregon, in addition to supporting fellow Benedictines in prayerful devotion to God.

“Our first ministry is prayer,” she said. “Then we respond to the local needs of the people, so that is how our ministries are driven. What are the needs of the people near us?”

Most of their trip to Grand Ronde was by train the next day, though the last leg was on foot over hilly, muddy terrain at night.

“I don’t know how they did it,” said Beyer. “I would have thrown up my hands and said, ‘I’m going back to Switzerland.’ They were strong, they were young and courageous, and they had that missionary spirit.”

Such determination was almost Wachter’s undoing.

In their initial arrival, after several days of hard travel, and a difficult situation in Gervais, her fellow nuns noticed Wachter needed to rest whether she wanted to or not. They went to the trouble of hiding her clothes overnight so, the next morning, Wachter had no choice but to stay in bed and recover.

The convent at Gervais was completed in early 1883 and the nuns moved in Feb. 1. Their transition was quite timely. The old saloon nearly burned down the month before after the group attempted to warm their living quarters with a wood stove. They opened an adjoining school the next month and continued strengthening ties with the community. The order grew, and over time it became apparent they would need a larger facility.

The sisters had been working with the monks of Mount Angel Abbey since 1884. Compared to the flat landscapes in Gervais, the gentle hills and flowering trees of Mount Angel, then called

Fillmore, were a paradise to the Sisters and they decided to settle in the area.

They purchased 30 acres of land in 1885 and construction began on what would become Queen of Angels Monastery. They cooked food and offered mass for the workmen, who in turn paid personally for the gilding of the cross atop the steeple of the chapel.

As construction neared its end in 1887, Wachter was chosen by a body of 29 Sisters to become the first elected Sister Superior of the order, becoming Mother Bernardine. She would prove herself a capable administrator and strong leader as they moved into the new monastery in 1888, including efforts to finance a boarding school adjoining the monastery. Mother Bernardine’s leadership may have ruffled a few feathers. In 1890 when her three-year term was up, Father Adelhelm, prior of Mount Angel Abbey, told the Sisters they could not re-elect Wachter, then personally oversaw the counting of ballots behind closed doors.

Dieker noted there is no official record explaining Adelhelm’s decision. Based on anecdotal evidence, including diary entries, Adelhelm may have been pressured by the Archdiocese of Oregon City to place an American in charge rather than a European-born immigrant.

The Archdiocese, led by Archbishop William Gross, attempted to eliminate the Sisters elections in 1891 in the name of avoiding a schism over the last election. He asked the Abbot of Mount Angel Abbey to personally appoint a Sister Superior, but the Abbot declined and asked Gross to make an appointment if one was needed.

Whatever the reasons for the 1890 election, in 1893 the Sisters were given no restrictions on their voting and Wachter was re-elected with overwhelming support. She would serve as Sister Superior until her death June 3, 1901, at age 51, bringing a close to the first chapter of the Sisters’ history.

12 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
Sister Bernadine Wachter. FILE PHOTO

Suit settles $137,500 received

Legacy Silverton Medical Center has settled a malpractice lawsuit filed after an alleged faulty wrist surgery from 2019.

The hospital and orthopedist Dr. Paul Brewer agreed to pay $137,500 to former patient Jody Mandish after a carpal tunnel procedure led to an alleged nerve injury.

Mandish filed suit April 7, 2021, in Marion County Circuit Court for a carpal tunnel release procedure that took place April 9, 2019. Brewer allegedly severed a digital nerve, resulting in chronic pain, decreased sensitivity and mobility, and the need for additional medical care.

Mandish sued for $30,000 in existing medical expenses, $20,000 in future medical expenses, and $1 million for pain and suffering.

The hospital and Brewer admitted to treating Mandish for the procedure but denied wrongdoing.

The case was dismissed Oct. 21, 2022, with no awards to either party. The Oregon Medical Board (OMB) recently released details of the settlement as part of its regular reports on malpractice claims against licensees.

This was the first of two malpractice suits recently resolved with Legacy and Brewer.

On Dec. 16, 2022, a suit by former patient Donald Smith was dismissed following an out-of-court agreement. Smith filed suit July 12, 2022, in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeking $1.1 million for a hip replacement on July 14, 2020, that allegedly left one leg significantly longer than the other. Details of any settlement have not yet been published by OMB.

A third malpractice lawsuit against the medical center remains pending in Marion County Circuit Court.

Former patient Tamarie Richards is seeking $10.2 million against the hospital and Dr. Michael Lemmers for a surgery taking place April 29, 2019. Lemmers allegedly used a pelvic mesh that was pulled off the market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration two weeks prior. The suit alleges the mesh resulted in chronic pain, inflammation, infections and discomfort.

Lemmers and the hospital have denied wrongdoing. Co-defendants include mesh manufacturers Boston Scientific Corporation, Ethicon, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson. A 15-day trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 19.

90 days in jail for Silverton DUII chase

A Silverton man arrested in December after leading police on a DUII chase has been sentenced to 90 days in jail in a plea agreement.

Michael James Imel, 36, pleaded guilty March 20 Marion County Circuit Court to DUII, reckless driving, resisting arrest, third-degree escape, refusal to take a test for intoxicants and two counts each of attempting to elude a police officer, recklessly endangering another person and second-degree criminal mischief.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 18 months of probation, a one-year driver’s license suspension and a total of $2,055 in fines. He was also required

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Legal Matters

100-year-old railway bridge

It may not look like much, but this year the railway bridge over Silver Creek in Silverton – otherwise known as MP 10.6 or simply the Silver Creek Bridge – will turn 100 years old.

Built in 1923 by the American Bridge Company, a company that – founded in 1900 in Pennsylvania – not only pioneered the use of steel as a construction material, but went on to build “a significant proportion of the world’s large bridges, marine installations, and other complex structures,” including the Silver Creek Bridge.

While it may be a bit of an eyesore, with peeling paint and rust covering the majority of the structure, according to Bob Melbo, a State Rail Planner for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), in general the bridge has withstood the tests of time.

“Insofar as we know, here at ODOT, it is structurally sound for service today,” he confirmed, “it has not been closed by

ODOT Rail or any other state agency that we know of.”

Willamette Valley Railway (WVR), the company currently leasing the line from Union Pacific, has chosen not to provide service south of Silverton, not because of the bridge’s condition but because of a decrease in railcar demand.

“The Silverton to Stayton rail line of the WVR is considered an ‘at-risk corridor,’” authors of an 2018 Economic Study wrote.

“Even before the line was shuttered due to flooding in early 2012, the line was experiencing a downturn in rail carload traffic, affecting the railroad’s revenue.”

In fact, the drop was so precipitous –declining from 1,130 carloads in 2006 to a mere 107 five years later – that it left WVR little margin for repair.

That’s not to say the line will never reopen.

In 2018 the Economic Study showed that not only was the City of Silverton interested in reviving the line but there were “at least four customers likely to use

the rail line if [it] returned.”

And history, too, shows that a resurrection is possible as the East Side Division –the track between Ray’s Landing on the Willamette River and Coburg – has seen its share of ups and downs.

Initially celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony in Silverton on April 18, 1880, the East Side Division got off to a soggy start with Governor William Wallace Thayer’s wife shoveling the first muddy clod in front of 1,200 to 1,500 onlookers and a determined brass band.

“It had been a sodden but momentous day in the history of Silverton,” Salem photographer and historian Ben Maxwell wrote in a piece for the Marion County Historical Society.

Rapidly built in only two short years, the line suffered from continuous derailments before finally, in 1888, railroad commissioners condemned the roadbed and ordered the trains to halt.

“Persons travelling over the East Side

narrow gauge said the Silverton passengers took their lives in their own hands,” Maxwell wrote. “A majority of the ties had rotted out and rails were sustained by bare ground for several feet in many places.”

One notable traveler, risking the rails in 1887, was Theodore T. Geer – a prosperous Waldo Hills farmer who would eventually become Governor in 1899. Headed for Portland for medical care, Geer boarded the train at the Macleay Station in the rain.

“In his contribution to The Oregonian Geer relates that the train was late as usual, but he was thankful it came at all,” Maxwell wrote. “When he entered the coach he found the conductor buried beneath a pile of waterproof remnants. It became clear to Geer that he had made a mistake.”

In his piece, Geer describes how he and various other passengers – including Charles Napier Scott, owner of the rail line at the time – were obliged to get increasingly wet and cold while “jostling

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Looking Back
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Silverton landmark speaks to community’s railway history

over newly made grates” before finally coming to a stop at a washed out roadbed six miles from Portland.

“After waiting an hour for a steamboat and another hour aboard to reach Portland, passengers arrived in the city at 7 p.m.,” Maxwell wrote. “Geer’s train had left Macleay 11 a.m. Eight hours of travel to cover 50 miles…”

And yet, despite its challenges, the East Division continued to run for another 125 years largely as a “farmers railroad,” hauling goods that would have otherwise been difficult to transport via country roads. And 10.4 miles of it – the line between Woodburn and Silverton – continues to function today, hauling goods for companies like Wilco, Valley Agronomics and Cascade Meats.

And it is not out of the realm of possibility that the closed section could reopen again, though the cost of doing so is high – repairing the Silver Creek Bridge alone is estimated at nearly $400,000. But according to Gus Frederick – who served

on the Silverton Planning Commission for six years and was present at one of the railroad planning meetings – there have been several entities interested in resuming service.

“Several reps from towns south,

(Pratum, Aumsville, Scio, etc.) were very interested… since a number of their local industries liked the cheaper rates rail afforded versus trucks,” Frederick recalled. But as of today there are no plans to reopen the section to commerce, according

to Melbo, nor are there plans to open the line to tourist activities like Rails-to-Trails – due to opposition by adjacent landowners – or scenic trail excursions – owing to liability issues.

But its closure doesn’t mean the rail bridge has escaped the notice of passersby.  In fact, when a community member, Brett Dewey, posted a series of photos celebrating the bridge’s centenary year, comments flowed in, including one that seemed to sum up the rest.

“[S]he’s a respectable old dame, that bridge… the bones are strong and straight, and a fresh coat of lipstick on the ol’ gal in the form of a good quality enamel or even a mural on the street-facing side, as some have suggested, sure would cheer up that section of C Street. Probably lots of folks willing to donate a bit of time and sweat to such an endeavor.”

But that, as with the future of the rail line itself, remains to be seen.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2023 • 15
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Silver Creek Bridge, parallel with C Street. COURTESY BRETT DEWEY

Egon Balleby of Mount Angel passed away on Feb. 26, 2023. Egon was born on May 6, 1938, near the town of Ringkobing, Denmark.

Egon started as a very early age working in the farm fields of Denmark. He learned the electrical trade and began a career as an Electrician.

In January 1958, he joined the Danish Royal Navy and was stationed at a radar base on the island of Mon, Denmark. This installation monitored the passing of ships from the Baltic Sea during the Cold War. It was there he met his future wife, Inga Jacobsen.

On Sept. 4, 1960, Egon and Inga were married and soon left Denmark to begin a new life in Southern California.

In 1967, Egon and Inga moved their young family to Oregon in their ’64 Ford Galaxy. They found their home in Mount Angel and have lived in Mount Angel ever since.

Egon was an Electrician at the Birds Eye plant in Woodburn, Oregon. He eventually became the supervisor of the electricians and remained so until his retirement. Upon his retirement, he spent much of his time making short trips in Oregon some of which may have been to a casino or two (his most favorite pastime). He was an avid follower of the Portland Timbers.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Ejnar and Kristina Balleby, and by brothers Verner and Kresten Balleby.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Inga; his son, Karsten (Kim); his daughter , Nina (Jim); sister, Ketty in Denmark; four beautiful grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews throughout Denmark. Private services will be scheduled in the spring/summer.


Linda MacDermott June 20, 1942 — March 17, 2023

Jack McKee Dec. 9, 1948 — March 23, 2023

Elizabeth Djema July 18, 1955 — March 30, 2023

Diana Gonzales Jan. 10, 1952 — March 31, 2023

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Roger Aloys Seifer

Nov. 11, 1941 – April 5, 2023

Roger Aloys Seifer, of Silverton, passed away on April 5, 2023. He was 81.

Born on Nov. 11, 1941, in Silverton to Aloysius (A.J.) and Hilda Seifer, Roger attended St. Paul’s Catholic School, Serra Catholic High School in Salem, and Mt. Angel College. He liked to joke that all the schools that he had attended were closed after he left.

In 1966, Roger married Karen Monson. Together, they built a strong and loving family and enjoyed many years of travel and laughter.

Roger owned Cascade Farm Machinery in Silverton for over 40 years. During that time, he was fortunate to work every day with his brother and best friend, Jack. Roger also served his community in many ways. Over the years, he was president of the Silverton Hospital Foundation Board and active at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

Roger was preceded in death by his father and mother; sister, Carol McDonald; and daughter-in-law, Nobuko.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Karen; his children, Eric (Melissa) of West Linn, Kristin (Aaron) Newland of Salem, Jason (Laura) of Salem, and Melissa (David) Briggs of Silverton; his 11 grandchildren; and an extended family of siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff of Bonaventure of Salem Memory Care and Willamette Vital Health for their loving care of Roger in the last few years and months.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements made by Unger Funeral Chapel – Silverton.

In lieu of flowers, Roger requested that he be remembered through donations to Silverton Area Community Aid, Inc. (SACA), Liberty House in Salem, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Submissions welcomed: Our Town appreciates the opportuity to share life’s Passages with our readers. 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 or mail it to Editor, Our Town, P.O. Box 927, Mount Angel, OR 97362, or drop it by our office at 401 Oak St., Silverton any weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

16 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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Spring update Softball, baseball prospects... plus Mannion retires

Last season veteran Silverton softball coach Ralph Cortez sent out one of the younger squads in the state. The Foxes featured only four seniors on the roster and included a cadre of talented freshmen.

As one might expect, Silverton took its lumps early, at one point losing four consecutive Mid-Willamette Conference games. But the team gelled, closed on a 9-2 run and advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals by stunning No. 4 Crater in Central Point before falling to perennial league power Dallas. The Foxes were fourth in the league and finished 18-10 overall.

After that Dallas game, a 3-1 Dragons win, Cortez told Our Town: “I am not disappointed with them at all. We’ve got a good group coming back … we’re going to be good for years.”

How right he was. The Foxes, who still have a nice blend of youth and veterans, were 8-1 at Our Town’s presstime, ranked third in Class 5A, and 2-0 in the early going in the MWC, which sports five teams in the top 11, including No. 1 Dallas.

Standout pitcher McKenzee Petersen and slugging catcher Braezen Henderson are back to form a solid battery.

Henderson hit 12 home runs a year ago and rarely lets a ball get behind her.

The infield includes the lone 2023 senior, second baseman Morgan Stadeli, as well as strong-armed shortstop

Greyson Glivinski, third-baseman

Jerisha Perez and first-baseman

Kate Kofstad Hannah Houts, Brylie Parks and Paisley Rains man the outfield spots, with Jordan Markham, Hailey Smith, Arika Rodriguez and newcomer Bella Diaz ready to fill-in.

Also toiling far from obscurity is perennial power Kennedy in Class 2A-1A. The Trojans are under veteran coach Walt Simmons, who took the team to the Class 2A-1A title in 2018, while finishing second in 2006 and 2019. Kennedy, which fell to eventual champion Lakeview in the 2022 semifinals, is off to a 3-2 start and is ranked sixth in the state. The Trojans are 2-0 in Special District 2, with their lone losses against Scio and Yamhill-Carlton, ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in Class 3A. Among the key returnees for Kennedy is senior pitcher Jenna Hopkins. The Trojans are young, with five freshmen and only three seniors.

Baseball: Kennedy won its second state title last year and returns a ton of talent from the squad that took out Umpqua Valley Christian in the title game. Kennedy is 9-0 this year and ranked No. 1. Long-time coach Kevin Moffatt scheduled aggressively, sending his squad to Arizona for a tournament while also playing at perennial Class 4A contender North Marion. One of the Arizona opponents was Oregon Class 3A power Santiam Christian.

Moffatt has a veteran lineup to challenge Special District 2 foes, including lefthanded pitcher Ethan Kleinschmit, first baseman Matt Hopkins, catcher Charlie Beyer, third baseman Andrew Cuff, outfielder Brett Boen, shortstop

Luke Beyer and yes, those names are familiar. That’s because they formed the core of the Kennedy football team that finished second in Class 3A and the basketball team that finished 3rd at the 2A tournament in Pendleton. At Kennedy, winning tends to breed more winning. For Silverton and coach Easton Bennett it’s a different story. The Foxes went 15-12 and made the playoffs a year ago with a roster that included 10 seniors. Back are pitcher Carson Waples and shortstop Cade Wynn. Returning as well as are catcher Wyatt Postlewait and infielder Sawyer Enderle, both of whom saw varsity time as freshmen. The Foxes are 3-6 overall and 1-0 in the Mid-Willamette in the early going.

Alumni Watch:

John Mannion, who led the Silverton football team to two semifinal slots and one runner-up finish in Class 5A, has retired from coaching. Most recently, Mannion, 55, coached at Mountainside High, where he started the program at the new school in Beaverton The Mavericks were 9-2 a year ago and made the Class 6A playoffs in Mannion’s final three years at the helm, most memorably the 2019 season when the Mavs took down top-seed Tigard 34-31 in overtime on a TD pass by Mannion’s son Brian,

now playing football and baseball at Linfield. Brian served as a ball boy for the Foxes when his father coached here. Mannion told Our Town that he hopes to get involved in mentoring and is considering putting together a newsletter on coaching. Watch this space for info on how to subscribe once the project gets rolling.

First Athlete, Too: Was pleased to see that Silverton senior Hannah Bashor took home junior first citizen at the recent community awards in Silverton. Bashor was a starter on the Foxes’ girls basketball squad that took 4th place in the Class 5A tournament in March. Bashor, at 5-foot-2 was almost always the shortest player on the court, but she corraled a team-leading six rebounds in the Foxes’ 45-35 elimination game win vs. South Albany and added four points and five rebounds in the 40-34 victory against Rex Putnam that secured fourth place. Bashor also participates in cross country and track and field for the Foxes.

Running: The annual Victor Point “Run for the Hills” is set for Saturday, April 22 at the school, 1175 Victor Point Drive, SE. The community fundraiser includes a 1-mile kids race, a 5K run-walk and challenging 10K and 15K hill runs. To sign up or for more information go to http://racenorthwest.com/victor-point.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2023 • 17
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John Mannion is shown during his coaching days at Silverton. FILE PHOTO Hannah Bashor. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Letting go A parent doesn’t need to teach all things

I’m going to be honest, there are a few words I’m still learning to spell, like “hallelujah” and “bourgeois.” Yup, spellcheck just corrected them both.

There are also things I’m still learning how to do, like bake bread – my baguettes all turn out flat. So, why then, when I picture the mountain of things my kids still have to learn, do I feel utterly terrified that there are so many things they still don’t know?

I think perhaps it’s the timeline I’ve been given, the one that says when they’re 18 they’re grown. Which I realize is utterly ridiculous because even as their bodies stop growing their brains will continue to learn.

There might be college, graduate school, a doctorate program – and that’s just continued education.

They might pick up a hobby – woodworking, mountain climbing, poetry, piano. They could travel, learn a language, read a hundred thousand books, listen to a million podcasts. They could get

really interested in nematodes, plant an enormous garden or study the French Revolution. After all, there is absolutely nothing saying that, once they graduate from high school, stop getting taller or leave my care that they will cease to mentally grow.

In fact, isn’t my own life a testament to exactly that?

The piles of books and newspapers, the playlist stuffed with educational podcasts and the constant rabbit-holes of research I fall down each and every day are evidence that yes, there is indeed new information entering my brain.

APRIL 2023



REMINDER: Pool Closure April 13 – May 14. We will reopen on Monday, May 15. Looking forward to seeing a beautiful painted pool with the cover off in the warm sunshine.

SUMMER SPORTS are now open!

Micro Soccer, Summer Soccer, and K-6 Track & Field. For all sports we are using a reversible jersey that you can purchase and pick up from Christina Shipman at the community center. This jersey will work for all Y sports.

VOLUNTEERS: If you are interested in volunteer opportunities – Coaching, Officiating, Assistant Coaching... please contact Christina Shipman, Cshipman@theyonline.org

503.873.6456 theYOnline.org

Suffice to say, I’m still learning, and I bet when my children are my age, they will be able to say the same. There is no expiration on education, whether it’s quantum physics or how to spell it (which, for the record, just took me three tries).

It’s never too late to try something new, try something again, or try something for the thousandth time. And it’s not my job as a parent to make sure they know everything, just that they have the desire to know something.

Editor’s note: What kind of pie is cooking in your kitchen? If you’d like to share a slice, guest columns are welcome. Columns should be approximately 550 words in length and be on topics of general interest to the local community. No anonymous columns, please. Include a phone number with the submission in case there are follow up questions; the number will not be printed or given out. Columns are published at the editor’s discretion. Send to: Editor, 401 Oak St., Silverton, OR 97381 or email ourtown.life@ mtangelpub.com



HIGH 1971 CLASSMATE I’m looking for John Withers from the Scotts Mills area, going to SUHS from 1968 to 1970. I am Catherine Wyatt from Silverton. I was a grade behind John. We dated my freshman year. I go by ‘Raven Wyatt’ on Facebook. If anyone knows his whereabouts, please contact me on Facebook.


SILVERTON CEMETERY ASSOCIATION will be having its annual meeting, Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m. at Silver Falls Library. Open to anyone interested in the historic cemetery, final resting place of Homer Davenport.


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20 • April 2023 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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