Our Town North: April 15, 2024

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Our Town P.O. Box 927 Mt. Angel, Or 97362 COMMUNITY NEWS POSTAL CUSTOMER ECRWSS Sports & Recreation JFK Baseball sets new state record – Page 21 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND, OR PERMIT NO. 854 Update Interim superintendent, budget cuts at school district – Pages 4 Something Fun What are the odds? First cousins born on Leap Day – Page 12
the Best Fox... – Page 17 Vol. 21 No. 8 Serving Mt. Angel, Silverton and Scotts Mills April 2024
2 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Internet: Actual speeds vary and not guaranteed. Many factors affect speed, including equipment performance, interference, congestion, and speeds of visited websites. WiFi speeds affected by additional factors, including distance from Gateway, home configuration, personal device capabilities, and others. For factors affecting speed visit www.xfinity.com/networkmanagement. WiFi hotspots available in select areas. Mobile: Xfinity Mobile requires residential post-pay Xfinity Internet. Line limitations may apply. Equip., intl. and roaming charges, taxes and fees, including reg. recovery fees, and other charges extra, and subj. to change. $25/line/mo. charge applies if Xfinity TV, Internet or Voice post-pay services not maintained. Pricing subject to change. Xfinity Mobile utilizes the network with the highest RootMetrics® 5G reliability rankings 2H ‘23. WiFi not tested. Results may vary. Not an endorsement. In times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic. Reduced speeds after use of monthly data included with your data option. Data thresholds and savings may vary. For Xfinity Mobile Broadband Disclosures visit: www.xfinity. com/mobile/policies/broadband-disclosures. © 2024 Comcast. All rights reserved. Silverton and Mt. Angel, Xfinity is finally here! Now you can bring home powerful connectivity Learn more about Xfinity and our full suite of products at xfinity.com 1-800-xfinity xfinitystores.com xfinity.com Get ultra-fast internet at home and stay connected on the go with millions of WiFi hotspots Switch to the most reliable 5G network nationwide, and choose from the latest phones, tablets, and smart watches — or keep the device you know and love and only pay for data. Enjoy a consistent and reliable connection when everyone’s online — even during peak hours
Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 3 Update SFSD appoints interim leader ... 4 District advised to cut $10M .... 4 SHS principal leaves position .... 5 Senior Center on the rebound.. 6 Civics 101 Chlorination meetings set .......... 7 Business Silver Falls Brewery expands to Eugene with Barrel House ........ 8 Our Neighbors The Teems retire from 50 years at Mount Angel Library .................9 Health Matters Long COVID mysteries unsolved 10 Something to Think About YMCA begins to fundraise for new facility .................................. 11 Something Fun Cousins born on Leap Day ........ 12 Briefs ................................ 13 Arts & Entertainment Kids, teen art showcased......... 14 Lexi Tucker: Silverton to Nashville ............................... 15 School Spotlight AP Computer class draws College Board attention ..................... 16 Wonder reading campaign kicks off in Mount Angel ................ 16 Best Fox Ever – fun for a good cause .................................... 17 Passages .......................... 18 Helping Hands Rotary Readers ups scores ........ 20 Sports & Recreation Trojan baseball sets record........ 21 A Slice of the Pie .........22 Marketplace ................23 On the Cover The contestants of this year’s Best Fox Ever fundraiser and pageant at Silverton High. Contents 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 19. 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 Now Accepting New Patients AL BORROMEO, DDS 214 Jersey Street • Silverton 503-566-7000 Vivian Caldwell 50 3-873-7069 Property Manager yourhomepm@gmail.com www.yourhomepm.com SILVERTON – 3BR, 1BA home in a nice neighborhood. Attached garage, woodstove. $1,850/mo TURNER – 2BR, 2BA manufactured home, beautiful country location. Garage/shop area, pellet stove. $1,895/mo SILVERTON – 3BR, 2.5BA with attached garage in Webb Lake. $1,995/mo SILVERTON – 3BR, 2.5BA New construction townhouse on corner lot close to town. Price Reduced!! $2,300mo COURTESY PAISHA RENOUD FOX FUR © CATCHYIMAGES/ 123RF.COM • Furnace and A/C Sales & Repair/Maintenance • Ductless Split Systems • Dryer Duct Cleaning • Residential & Commercial Sales Schedule Your Furnace Maintenance Today Specializing in Heating and A/C 503-576-1341 CCB#186393 ES Call Dan, the most trusted HVAC Professional Dan Wilgus Owner

Money woes mount SFSD struggles to make sense of the dollars

Morelock tapped to ‘stabilize’ situation District told to cut $10 million over 2 years

Former Newberg

Superintendent Joe Morelock has been hired as interim superintendent for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD), with the goal of “stabilizing” its finances and administration.

During a special meeting April 1, the SFSD Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with Willamette Education Service District (WESD), where Morelock currently serves as superintendent.

Von Flue and Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch for their roles in finalizing the agreement.

The abrupt resignation of former Superintendent Scott Drue on March 13. put the district in need of new leadership. The resignation came as the district was seeking solutions for a projected deficit which had grown to $1.3 million, possibly requiring a bridge loan, layoffs and furlough days.

The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has been advised to cut $1.2 million from its current budget by June and $8.8 million for the next school year to correct a looming deficit and patterns of overspending.

During the April 8 meeting of the SFSD Board, officials received a financial presentation from Jackie Olsen, executive director of the Oregon Association of School Business Officials.

Olsen has been working with SFSD since early March after officials learned of a deficit that threatened June payroll.

of a single person, single program or individual school, but were “a districtwide problem.” Olsen said 56 separate accounts started the current school year in the negative, some by a few dollars and some by hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as 13 grant accounts.

Olsen also reported the district has a recent pattern of overspending, including $770,000 in the 2021-2022 school year and $1.3 million in the 2022-2023 school year. She said correcting this habit will require cuts beyond those she proposed for this year and next.

The agreement, effective through June 30, releases Morelock from his duties to WESD to perform executive administrative functions for SFSD. This will include “a focus on budget” and providing “a stabilizing influence,” according to the agreement, as well as advising the board on its search for a full-time superintendent.

Morelock will spend at least eight hours per week working from the district office, while additional work is expected to be performed off-site. The agreement said there will be no cost to SFSD for Morelock’s services or the partnership with WESD.

Board members expressed gratitude for Morelock’s willingness to help as the district navigates a suddenly-vacant superintendency and a cash deficit that threatens June payroll.

“I’m just grateful for Dr. Morelock being willing to help us out,” said board member Josh Ort.

He also thanked Board Member Owen

To help unravel the deficit, SFSD has been working with WESD and other public education finance consultants. It was during these interactions they learned Morelock could serve as interim superintendent as part of the services WESD provides local districts.

Both parties may choose to extend the agreement beyond June 30, while SFSD could also choose to hire a different interim superintendent or a full-time candidate at that time.

Morelock previously helped the Newberg School District manage a budget crisis that threatened jobs, first as interim superintendent in 2018 and then as fulltime superintendent in 2019. He was fired by this district’s board in 2021 amid unrelated conflicts over a new board policy banning staff from displaying “controversial, political, or quasi-political” symbols in schools.

In 2022 Morelock became superintendent of the Woodburn School District before leaving in 2023 to join WESD.

Olsen reported the district is on target to overspend its budget by $4 million this year, leading to a projected cash deficit of $1.3 million. This was greater than an initial cash deficit projection of $825,000 in February.

Olsen advised a spending reduction of $1.2 million this year to address the deficit and to lay the groundwork for greater cuts the following school year. She also suggested the district implement a hiring and spending freeze through the end of the current school year.

Olsen said spending in the next school year’s budget needs to be reduced by $8.8 million. That reduction includes $3 million to match declines in revenues and $1 million to restore depleted financial reserves.

She said the district must also cover added expenses such as $4 million for a bridge loan, $500,000 for unemployment costs and $300,000 for public pension costs.

She said cost overruns were not the result

Silver Falls School District proposed interim superintendent search timeline

Silver Falls School District officials proposed a timeline for choosing an interim superintendent to begin July 1 after current Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock’s service concludes.

During the SFSD Board April 8 meeting, dates for gathering public and staff feedback, and conducting interviews were presented. Board Chair Jennifer Traeger said the goal is to expend as little money on the process as possible. Dates include:

April 16 or 17: A community forum led by Kevin Palmer and Melissa Seifer-Briggs to gather input on qualities and qualifications for a superintendent.

April 22: A public hearing before the board on qualities and qualifications, followed by a work session to approve salary range, job description and consultants.

April 23: District begins advertising interim superintendent position.

Olsen also proposed policy changes and advised that the board start receiving monthly updates on expenditures, revenue and budget adjustments.

The board made no immediate changes to policy or to the budget. Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock said he would present the board with options after he meets with principals and union representatives. He warned that solutions will likely be difficult and unpleasant. The board had planned to vote on applying for a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN), which would borrow against upcoming property taxes to cover this year’s cash deficit. Because the projected deficit changed, the loan amount needed to be reassessed. The board set a special meeting for April 11 to vote on pursuing the TAN. The meeting was after the Our Town print deadline. Coverage will be available digitally at ourtownlive.com after the meeting.

The deadline to apply for a TAN is April 15.

May 13: Application period closes and board begins reviewing applications in executive session.

May 14-24: Board conducts interviews, then negotiates contract with prospective candidate.

May 28: Board votes to hire candidate and approve contract.

The agreement for the services of Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock expires June 30.

4 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life Update
Silver Falls School District Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock SUBMITTED PHOTO

More transition Silverton High principal resigns to take Nevada position

Former Silverton High School Principal Sione Thompson has resigned from his position as of April 2 to take the helm of a struggling charter school in Nevada.

The Silver Falls School District confirmed Thompson’s departure in a media release that day and said Assistant Principal Patrick Mulligan has stepped in as interim principal.

Mulligan is expected to serve through the remainder of the current school year. The district said it plans to hire a replacement principal by the 2024-2025 school year.

In the release, Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch said Thompson had been “an integral part of our community” and brought about positive changes through inspirational leadership. Busch also said the district is confident in Mulligan’s abilities to lead the school during the transition period.

Thompson was hired as SHS principal in 2021 and came to Silverton from Oahu, where he had been a regional

superintendent for the Hawaii State Department of Education. Before that he was executive director of the Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission.

As of April 4, Thompson is the executive director for TEACH Las Vegas, a public charter school established in 2021 serving

elementary and middle school students.

According to The Las Vegas ReviewJournal, the school has received poor reviews from state regulators for accountability and academic performance, and was delinquent last year by over $320,000 in public pension contributions.

Former Executive Director Andrea Moore resigned suddenly Oct. 4, 2023, which was followed by mass staff resignations and a sharp drop in student enrollment, reported the newspaper.

The TEACH Las Vegas Board said Thompson was chosen because he “has expertise in school turnaround,” according to the contract with Thompson the board approved April 2.

In a statement on the school’s website, Thompson said his goal was to “foster a culture of excellence, equity, and innovation” with a commitment to “transparency, communication and accountability.”

Thompson departs SFSD amid its own administrative crisis, including a shortfall

threatening June payroll, and the sudden resignation of former Superintendent Scott Drue March 13.

The district has brought on Willamette Education Service District Superintendent Joe Morelock as interim superintendent through June 30, and plans to select another interim July 1 until a permanent superintendent is hired.

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Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 5
2024 Congratulations from the Y To Our Boys Competitive Basketball Teams
Grade: JOSHUA DAVIS & MARK BAILEY Fourth Grade: HENRY SURA ALL-STATE HONORS Congratulations to Middle School Track athlete SCOUT HAUGEN for beating the Middle School High Jump record! She cleared 5'0" at the Cheldelin Meet.
Former SHS Principal Sione Thompson SUBMITTED PHOTO

Buy • Sell • Auction • Rentals

$850,000 Abiqua Creek Frontage w/ Amazing Views! 3bd/3.5ba~ 1920SF~ 1.04 acres~ Swimming hole & Winter time waterfalls~ Steps to creek~Custom single level home~ Office~ Granite counter tops~ Hardwood Oak floor~ 3 pantries~ 3 types of heating~ Open floor plan w/large windows throughout~ Shop is 1262 SF W/ full bath & W/D set up- possible ADU~ Garden area~ Chicken Coop~Silverton~ Donna Paradis 503-851-0998 MLS#813185

$599,900 4bd/2ba~ 2508 SF~ Recently remodeled & updated w/ a fresh clean feeling! New bathrooms, kitchen, flooring, paint, trim-like walking into a new construction home! Large wrap around deck~Daylight basement~ Upstairs has lots of light~ Sellers are Motivated! Silverton~ Robin Kuhn 503-930-1896 MLS#806675


Tucked away in a beautiful neighborhood close to Hospital & Down town~ 4bd/2.5ba~ 2642 SF home w/great potential~ Possible dual living~ Upstairs bonus room~Partial finished room in basement~ Oversized 2 car garage w/ built -in storage~ Low maintenance yard~ Silverton~ Robin Kuhn 503-930-1896 MLS#811526

$460,000 Creek Frontage! 2bd/1ba on .21 acre lot zoned to allow duplex or ADU (plan

$792,000 An Elegant Oasis on the Edge of Town! 4bd/4ba~ 2560 SF~ Single level~ 2 primary suites~ Private office~ 4 bay shop w/ 3 roll up doors, fully paved access & enormous amount of parking~ Professionally landscape yard~ Water feature~ Mt Angel~ Valerie (Boen) Kofstad 503-871-1667 MLS#814663

$589,000 4bd/2ba~1714 SF~Single story w/ open concept~Vaulted ceilings~LVP flooring~ Deck~ Covered patio w/stone pavers~ Raised garden beds~UG Sprinklers~ Silverton~ Rosie Wilgus 503-409-8779


$519,900 Single level 3bd/2ba~ 1682

SF~ Open kitchen & dining space~Extra large utility room w/lots of storage~ Covered patio~ Pond water feature~Shop space in garage~ Large backyard~Mt Angel~ Valerie (Boen) Kofstad 503-871-1667 MLS#814139

$452,700 Well Kept Single Level~ 3bd/2ba~ 1476

SF~ Some major updates include: Vinyl windows, gas furnace, heat pump & water softener~ Original wood cabinets through out~ Covered patio~ Fenced back yard~ Mt Angel~ Rosie Wilgus 503-409-8779 MLS#814591

On the rebound

Senior Center has new leadership, big plans

The Silverton Senior Center is down but not out. The group’s building on Westfield Street is out of commission because of a plumbing disaster that occurred during the January ice storm. The center, however, has been able to keep most of its programs rolling along by using other sites: aerobics, line dancing and gentle yoga at Immanuel Lutheran Church; ageless yoga at Total Body Health; open studio painting at the Art Center; the singles lunch at the Macleay Country Inn; knitting at the Silvertowne Apartments; and board meetings at the Elks Lodge.

No timetable has been set for the reopening of the building.

The Senior Center also has a new executive director, Simone Stewart, who replaced Dodie Brockamp, who retired in December after serving in the position since 2012.

“It’s been quite the ride during my first two months as the Silverton Senior Center executive director,” said Stewart, a former City of Silverton employee as well as longtime nonprofit and arts board member as well as entrepreneur and actress. “Since the closure of our building in mid January, not only have we been continuing to offer all of our programs and classes at other locations in the area; but we have been busy planning new social events and fundraisers.”

Two big events, an open mic cabaret and a luau in Coolidge McClaine Park, are set for May 1 and June 22, respectively, see information box and silvertonseniors. org for more information.

Stewart grew up in Long Beach, California, and earned a degree in the history of art and architecture. She moved to Southern Oregon in 1992 and served in a variety of roles there, including teaching, marketing technology, computer repair, technology services operations management, arts marketing/ events planning/performance venue

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, May 1: A Night of Random Acts

Open mic event at 5:30 p.m., At Easel Art, 301 E. Main St. Free, donations accepted. Sign up at  silvertonseniors.org

Saturday, June 22: Spirit of Aloha Luau fundraiser at Coolidge McClaine Park, 5:30 p.m. More details soon at  silvertonseniors.org

Information: 503-873-3093 or  info@ silvertonseniors.org

management, wine buying and wine sales/ distribution.

Stewart also is an actress, with 70 roles performed since moving to Oregon, including performances at the Brush Creek Playhouse, Pentacle Theatre in Salem and Gallery Theatre in McMinnville. She also appeared in the Netflix series The Trust, a reality game show, whose eight episodes debuted in January.

Stewart told Our Town she is “thrilled to have made the career move to nonprofit leadership” and added that she hopes to “utilize all of her career and volunteer skills and experience to benefit the Silverton area 50+ community.

6 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life Update 119 N. W ATER S T., S I LV E R T O N , O R 503-873-860 0 ha r c o u r t ssilver t o n c om @ha r c o u r t ssilver t o n All info current at time of publication Prices and availability subject to change
subject to city approval)~ Upstairs bonus room~ Located 1 block from historic downtown Silverton w/Silver creek in backyard!~ New carpet in January~ Shed~ Seller offering $15,000 buyer credit for rate buy down or CC! Silverton~ Valerie (Boen) Kofstad 503-871-1667 MLS#810541 $415,000 3bd/2ba~ 1848 SF~.52 acre~ 2 fire places~ Territorial views~ Lot is fenced~ 2 car garage~
Scotts Mills~ Donna
503-851-0998 MLS#812011
Catch up with more local news and sports Facebook.com/OurTown.SMASM
Silverton Senior Center Executive Director Simone Stewart STEVEN ADDINGTON

Civics 101

Precautionary measure

Mount Angel rolling out chlorination May 15

The City of Mount Angel is finalizing plans to chlorinate its municipal water supply as a preventative against unhealthy microbes, with public meetings on the matter set for April.

In a timeline published on the city’s website, officials said chlorination is scheduled to begin May 15 to comply with an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) mandate from 2023.

This is the first time Mount Angel will chlorinate its water, and public meetings were scheduled for April 11 and 20 to address concerns.

The April 20 meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon at the Mt. Angel Community Meeting Room, 290 E. Charles St. A Zoom link is also available through the city’s website, ci.mt-angel.or.us.

Mount Angel also has a dedicated phone number, 503-339-3400, and email: water@ mtangel.gov, for chlorination-related questions, as well as a new FAQ page on its website.

“We’re trying to put as much information out there as possible,” said City Manager Mark Daniel during an April 1 meeting of the Mt. Angel City Council.

OHA notified Mount Angel on Oct. 17, 2023, that multiple tests of the water supply revealed high levels of coliforms,

which are bacteria commonly found in human and animal intestines.

While these levels were not considered dangerous, they represented the potential for contamination and OHA required that the city add a disinfection treatment to its water supply.

The city was given until April 19 to implement a solution. A timeline published on the city’s website said the city expects to complete the installation of all necessary components by April 15.

Daniel told the council that one way residents are being asked to help is by flushing the water lines in their homes to remove iron and rust buildup in the water system. He said chlorine could possibly combine with the naturally-occurring iron in the city’s well water and cause discoloration, which they are attempting to avoid.

He said residents who allow their faucets to run will not be charged for any overages during the coming months and will instead be billed at the rate they paid for the same period last year. He said this exception will last likely through September – or longer if necessary – to encourage residents to participate.

The city will also be flushing through hydrants to ensure Mount Angel has “the cleanest possible system that we can,” said Daniel.


Thursday, May 2, 2024 | 6:00-8:00pm

The Farm on Golden Hill

11506 Kaufman Rd. NE, Silverton, 0r 97381

$75 for an individual ticket or $500 for a table of 8 seats

- Heavy hors d'oeuvres & drinks provided with entertainment by MOVE THE NEEDLE -

Instagram - @movetheneedleband

Spotify - “Lewis Bradshaw V”


Come join us for an evening of fun, food, and entertainment while we share the impact The Silver Falls Family YMCA is having in the community.

We’ll be auctioning off community experiences, including Pickleball and Pints, a Ceramics Workshop, Backyard BBQ, Basketball Clinics, and more.

The future is exciting!

Our Town Life

Branching out Silver Falls Brewery expands to

The owners of the popular Silverton taphouse Silver Falls Brewery have opened a second location, the Barrel House in Eugene in the former Tap & Growler space.

Eric Druliner co-owns Silver Falls Brewery with his business partner, Andrew Fox. The pair began brewing out of Druliner’s garage in 2015 and later expanded in 2019 to their current brewery production space.

The entrepreneurs knew they wanted to expand ever since opening, but the timing and properties for a second location never felt right.

Druliner told New School Beer in December of 2023, “We needed to reach a stage where we were not just capable but well-prepared to take on such an endeavor. This involved learning the intricacies of what works and what doesn’t, delving into self-distribution, and establishing efficient systems – all while ensuring we had an exceptional team in place.”

When Eugene’s Tap & Growler space became available, the business partners scooped it up as quickly as possible.

“The place in Eugene… had everything that we wanted,” Druliner told Our Town. “We want to increase our presence in Corvallis and also get into Eugene as well.”

Located in the heart of Eugene, the Barrel House features an extensive selection of Silver Falls Brewery’s core beers and experimental brews, including upcoming European additions to the menu.

The space will also serve as a hub for live events, particularly comedy shows, said the owners.

Silver Falls Brewery’s Barrel House

207 E 5th Ave., Eugene

Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Closed Tuesday

“We have just kind of like a taproom with a small kitchen. It’s a great location for people to come check us out, but also be able to branch out as far as distribution goes,” Druliner said.

The taphouse also offers an array of Italianinspired cuisine, featuring pizzas and sandwiches, while their beer menu largely

will remain unchanged from the Silverton location.

Druliner emphasized the unwavering support and hard work of the staff at the new location, stating that their enthusiasm and commitment have been instrumental in shaping the brewery’s expansion journey.

“I can’t say enough about our staff and how good they are and how much we appreciate them because they’re very crucial in decisionmaking,” he said.

Eugene is already excited about the opening of the Barrel House after its soft opening in March.

“It was such a great feeling having people walking by and realizing what we are,” Druliner said.

“They knew of us, they’d either been here before to Silverton, connected it to Silver Falls State Park, they love our beer, just overwhelming support that we were hoping for.”

“We don’t sell down there, we have no presence down there. And yet, people still know us… we must be doing something right!” co-owner Fox added.

The Barrel House will host a Grand Opening event sometime in May, inviting beer enthusiasts and community members to join in celebrating this exciting new chapter for Silver Falls Brewery.

Fox said, “I think it’s going to be a good thing and it’s gonna be good for Eugene, too.”

8 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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Stools and counter space sit ready for customers at Barrel House. The new brewpub had a soft opening in March in Eugene by the owners of Silver Falls Brewery. A grand opening is planned for May. COURTESY OF SILVER FALLS BREWERY

Teem power Mount Angel couple lauded for 50-year service to library

Keith and Pepper Teem started volunteering at the Mt. Angel Public Library in 1974 and since then have played central roles in both its day-to-day operations and major projects.

Now the Mount Angel couple has retired after 50 years of service at the library and city leaders are marking this milestone with official proclamations and a celebration dinner.

The Teems said age “had a lot to do with it,” and that after 50 years it was time for a younger group of volunteers to take up the mantle.

During the April 1 Mt. Angel City Council meeting, Mayor Pete Wall noted the couple’s many accomplishments while reading separate proclamations recognizing Keith and Pepper individually. He said the Teems’ volunteerism “should be emulated by all capable citizens of this city.”

“The community appreciates everything you’ve done,” Wall added.

One of their more significant achievements was in 1992 when they began leading fundraising efforts for the current library building. The prior building had been condemned. They met with community members, sought grants, worked to find a site and helped finalize building plans.

The pair also has been closely involved with Mt. Angel Library Advisory Board and the Mt. Angel Friends of the Library Board, and remained involved with regular book sale fundraisers.

Keith was recognized for beautification

projects such as painting the library entrance, and maintaining the garden outside the building. He is also noted for crafting unique reading chairs for the teen and kids areas. The children’s area is named after the couple.

Pepper was recognized for being a regular face every Wednesday, spending at least four hours processing library materials.

Library Director Jackie Mills said this equated to more than 10,000 hours over the years and that all materials in the library have passed through Pepper’s hands at least once.

“I’m just very, very thankful for you both,” said Mills, “and I know the community is thankful whether they know it or not.”

When asked about the five decades of service, Keith told the council it was “sometimes frustrating” but that “it’s been fun.” Pepper said she has “enjoyed it all” and is grateful for Mills’ continuing work to bring new programs and revenue streams to the library.

The library will hold a no-host dinner at Lou’s Kitchen 5 p.m. April 17 to celebrate the Teems’ achievements, followed by a reception at the library at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend and reservations can be made by calling the library at 971-370-5040.

In addition to recognition from the city, the Teems were honored April 21, 2023, with the “Library Supporters of the Year” award by the Oregon Library Association. The association said Mount Angel’s library would not be what it is today with the work of the Teems.

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Our Neighbors
Pepper and Keith Teem in front of the Mt. Angel Public Library. Stephen Floyd

Long COVID Those still suffering looking for answers to on-going symptoms

At this point, most people have contracted COVID at least once during the past four years. For the majority, the experience was akin to getting the flu. They were sick for a few days, or even a week, but then the symptoms faded and they resumed their normal lives.

That’s the story for most, but not all.

“[W]e never really got better,” 49-yearold, Sarah (who has asked that her real name not be used), said of the experience both she and her, now 13-year-old, daughter had in March 2020. “The fever finally ended but the shortness of breath and headaches, along with crazy levels of sun sensitivity… made me realize something was very wrong.”

And she wasn’t alone, fellow Silvertonian, 47-year-old, Kiki Aalbue, came down with COVID around the same time.

“My heart would shoot up to 170-plus BPM,” Aalbue recalled, “then I would sit down and it would drop into the thirties. I’d stand up and it would shoot up to 60. It was all over the board… I knew that there was something very wrong…”

But, uninsured and unable to return to work, Aalbue didn’t have access to medical care. Instead, she began to reach out online, asking if anyone else was experiencing the same never-ending symptoms.

“I would have thought I was completely insane if I hadn’t had other people around who were having such unexplainable experiences,” Aalbue said, recalling the support women like Sarah provided during a time before the terms Long COVID or Long Haulers Syndrome were coined. “I was so blessed to have friends who went

down in the same wave as I did…” she said, “sharing medical information, our own experiences, and sharing what was going on in our own lives. I wouldn’t have made it through without those ladies!”

It’s a group that has continued to grow as the number of people experiencing Long COVID has increased, even as answers about what causes the condition has not.

“People aren’t educated in the severity of Long COVID and don’t understand why we can’t just get up and get on with life,” 45-year-old, Aja Gabriel – who contracted Long COVID in November 2022 – said.

“I am truly exhausted and disappointed in people telling me ‘I need to go back to work.’ Most of us can barely get out of bed in the morning... How are we going to go back to work? How could I work an eightto-ten-hour day in the dental field without dropping dead? My speech is so slurred at times, how could I possibly interact comfortably with the public?”

Along with speech impairment, Gabriel also regularly experiences extreme fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, insomnia, muscle aches and weakness, difficulty swallowing, ringing in her ears and a sensitivity to light. And those are just the physical symptoms.

“It caused severe depression as well as anxiety for me…” Gabriel, who is now an unemployed, single mom, said. “It really takes a toll on you emotionally because there is such limited resources and treatment available to us. Not just from a clinical standpoint but financially… My whole life was ripped out from under me… I feel like I am just stuck in this evil queue waiting to see what I am supposed to do next in life. I have had so many trips to the ER and Urgent Care for

things, I can’t even count.”

And those trips are often futile.

“Because LC is so new most medical professionals aren’t trained, so they think they have to give you a label,” Gabriel explained, listing chronic fatigue, brain injury, stiff person syndrome and cancer as just some of the diagnoses she has received. “Can you imagine being told these things and then just floating around in the medical system, nobody knowing where to start…?”

Forty-six-year-old, Beth can.

“My doctor doesn’t know much about it and is just now starting to refer me to specialists,” Beth (who also asked that her real name not be used) said. She described her own two-year experience with Long COVID as being filled with many of the same symptoms Gabriel experienced, along with nausea, vertigo, faintness, a rapid heartbeat, breathlessness, chest pain and tingling in her extremities.

“I need a nap most days,” she said. “I can’t schedule more than one thing per day. If I go grocery shopping, I have energy for nothing else that day. Same goes for doctor appointments…  I’m a wreck. I feel like a burden, like I’m failing my kids. Depression and anxiety levels are extremely high.” And her greatest wish – that doctors would discover a way to treat her symptoms – seems light years away.

While the Center for Disease Control acknowledged Long COVID’s existence in July 2021, there is still no definitive diagnostic test, no clear set of symptoms and no cure beyond establishing “a personal medical management plan that can help improve… symptoms and quality of life” according to the CDC.

It’s a cycle that Aalbue – who has, in the past nine months, seen nutritionists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, dentists, dental surgeons, mental health therapists, and her general practitioner – has found untenable. “[I]t’s all way too much…” she confirmed. “One doctor’s appointment requires the entire day, plus the day before to rest up for it, and possibly a day after to recover. When I’m having three or more appointments in a week, it is completely

wrecking everything else and that doesn’t even take into account… that I’m having to do all of these exercises… throwing my system into absolute distress. I’m not well enough for the cure!

“It’s such a weird place to be, advocating for care, finally getting to a point of having that care, but not having enough left in yourself to actually be able to do the treatments… So, at this point, I’ve taken a step back from many treatments… I’m trying to prioritize.”

Because some of the treatments are working.

“I am seeing a therapist regularly for the first time in my life,” Aalbue said. “I’ve gotten all the tests and stuff to be sure I don’t have any illnesses or major things wrong… I have good reason to take care of myself, take a really good look at my health and improve everything I can.”

And Sarah and her daughter have seen improvements as well.

“A Long COVID doctor tested our ferritin…” she said, referring to the blood protein that stores the body’s iron, which, in both Sarah and her daughter, was extremely low. “As soon as we started taking a gentle iron supplement our symptoms were reduced.”

The two also got tested for Lyme disease, which can present symptoms similar to Long COVID. The tests were positive. “We began to understand that COVID may have been a hard enough hit to our immune systems that it allowed underlying Lyme to flourish…” Sarah said. Admitting, “Without this Long COVID journey Lyme could still be carving away our health without us understanding what was happening. We are getting treatment and improving, that’s a blessing.”

But it isn’t the end of her story, just as it isn’t the end of the story for anyone suffering from Long COVID – at least not yet.

“There’s a lot we don’t know, but there is a lot we do know about this condition already,” Aalbue said. “I don’t want people scared. I don’t want people freaking out. I want people educated and aware and doing everything that they can to minimize Long COVID in our community. In the long run, it benefits all of us to remain safe. The pandemic isn’t over. And Long COVID is definitely only just begun.”

10 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life

Building on success Silver Falls

The Silver Falls Family YMCA has embarked upon a major fundraising campaign to pay for and construct a new building in which to operate its programs. Amid challenges to insuring an aging building, the YMCA left its long-time home in the Silverton Community Center in March. The building is currently being leased by the city from the Oregon Military Department. Soon the city, which uses the building for its council meetings, also will be vacating, as will Silverton Area Community Aid. This summer, SACA will be moving from the community center basement to the former location of Ratchet Brewery at the north end of town.

In the meantime, the YMCA has worked with dozens of community partners to stage its programming at alternative sites.

Our Town met with Tim Sinatra, chief executive officer of the Family YMCA of Marion and Polk counties, Silverton board President Chuck White and Kristi Horner, branch director in Silverton in March.

Sinatra emphasized that with the successful opening of the new $46.5 million downtown facility in Salem, the regional operation is turning its attention to “the east and west,” meaning operations in Silverton and Monmouth.

But not to fix anything that is broken.  “We’re trying to set this up for the next 30 to 50 years,” said Sinatra, who has spent the majority of his 34-year career with the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs.

“And it’s not the government doing it.

It’s the community. We have skin in the game. Change is inevitable but progress is optional. It shouldn’t be optional. You’ve got to take a bigger step.”

White, who has been affiliated with the YMCA in Silverton since the 1990s, noted that “we knew the community center was temporary. It’s always been at the back of my mind to build a separate facility. We’re trying to be proactive here.”

Discussions still are underway regarding what such a “separate facility” might look like, where it might be built and what partnerships and collaboration might be involved to pull it together. Sinatra and the other YMCA officials noted neither timelines nor costs are in place yet. And many questions still must be answered. What might those partnerships look like? Might it be possible to build on donated land? And what type of building makes the most sense?

Sinatra also suggested a hub and spokes model also might work, with a Butler

building (a pre-engineered metal structure) as the center hub and other sites spread around the community.

“Our biggest concern,” he said, “is how do we get from here to there and maintain the great programs we have. And it’s not just a Y deal. There is a way to win, we

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just have to find it.”

The benefits, Sinatra said, are tangible and reachable.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 11
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Willamette Valley Bank community engagement officer Daylee Howard, left, and branch manager Joshua Keck present Silver Fallsy Family YMCA board president Chuck White and board member Bryan White with a check for $2,500. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Something Fun

Wild odds

Unexpected Leap Day arrivals keep family members hopping

If the odds of giving birth on Leap Day are one in 1,461, the odds of two cousins sharing the same Leap Day birthday are, well, extremely low.

“We did the math,” Laura Pemble said, recalling the day she discovered that not only was her daughter-inlaw, Ivy Pemble, pregnant with her first child, but her daughter, Megan Peetz, was pregnant with her second.

“I said, ‘Oh, they’ll be a few weeks apart,’” Laura remembered.

With neither expectant mother due within a week of Feb. 29, it came as a surprise to everyone when both Megan and Ivy went into labor on the same auspicious day. Both were admitted to Legacy Silverton.

“I was so close it was killing me,” Megan said, recalling how it felt to be laboring only a few doors away from Ivy, and still unable to visit her friend.

Because Ivy and Megan are more than just family.

“We all grew up together and all went to the same school,” Megan said, describing how both couples met during their time at Willamette Valley Christian School in Salem.

And now their children – Ivy and Carson’s daughter, Wren, born at 12:49 p.m. and Megan and Cort’s son, Wesley, born at 7:30 p.m. – share the same remarkable birthday.

“I think every four years we’ll have to have a huge, big birthday party,” Ivy speculated.

In the meantime, the cousins will get to choose which day to celebrate their birthday. If they decide to hold it on Feb. 28, amazingly, Wren and Wesley will share it with another set of cousins – a set of twins born Feb. 28 to Ivy’s sister-in-law.

“We joked about it because we all three wanted my sister as our doula,” Megan said. Her sister, nurse Brittany Hutchison, had a remarkably busy couple of days because of the back-to-back births.

And she wasn’t alone. Grandma Laura’s schedule was full as well.

“The people at the hospital were like, ‘Who are you here to see?’” she laughed, recalling her answer, which beat all the odds – two Leap Day grandbabies.

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Ivy Pemble holding her new daughter, Wren, and sister-in-law Megan Peetz holding her new son, Wesley. Both babies were born on Leap Day 2024. COURTESY OF LAURA PEMBLE


Cartoon entries welcome

What would a celebration of the famous political cartoonist, Homer Davenport, be without a celebration of cartoons?

“To that end, the International Cartoon Contest has returned,” organizer, Gus Frederick, wrote in a recent press release. “As in past years, the competition is for ‘political’ or ‘editorial’ cartoons on any topic as long as they are not libelous, slanderous, racist, sexist or salacious.”

Open for submissions now through July 26, the contest will be judged by a panel of three prestigious judges –Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick, Silverton City Council President Elvi Cuellar Sutton and Oregon State Representative Rick Lewis – who will determine the winners based on basic artistic skill, the strength and clarity of the message, and overall appeal.

Winners will receive one of four prizes in the amount of $750, $500, $300 or $200. Then an additional five, noncash, “People’s Choice” awards will be presented based on ballots cast at the Homer Davenport Community Festival Aug. 2 – 4. Submission instructions are at  www.tooncon. homerdavenport.org.

The winning cartoons will be announced on the Sunday afternoon during the festival, and online at homerdavenport. com/.

Robotics team heads to Texas

The two members of the Thunderbolt Robotics Club have been invited to an international competition and are currently raising money to pay their expenses. Middle-schoolers Zane Davis and Derek Schaefer received a design award at the Oregon state tournament, while also pulling down several awards at other competitions. The duo will be competing at the VEX World Championships April 30 - May 2 in Dallas, Texas. The event brings in robotics teams from 37 countries. Shaefer has been working with robots since 4th grade and is in middle school at Butte Creek. He is the robot builder and assists Davis with the coding. Davis is in his second year in robotics and attends Silverton Middle School.

Expenses include registration, plane tickets, motels, uniforms and food as well as shipping the robot. To assist contact Stacey at staceyr8849@gmail.com or go to www.gofundme. com/f/help-send-lightening-bolt-robotics-to-worlds

GeerCrest hosts Food Co-op Earth Day event at farm

The Silverton Food Co-op is holding an Earth Day event at GeerCrest Farm, with family-friendly educational activities and live entertainment.

Scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at the farm, 12390 Sunnyview Road NE, Salem, this free event is offered in partnership with GeerCrest and Sustainable Silverton.

A main focus will be the role of oak trees in the ecosystem, with hourly tours of nearby oaks led by Eric Hammond with OAKtober.org. Attendees can also apply to “adopt” a white oak sapling for free, with the perfect home being spacious enough for these famously-large trees.

Miriam Ponce, with GeerCrest, will also host handson planting activities at the farm’s “food forest,” which uses a diverse crops to mimic the way plants grow naturally in a forest. The co-op will feature its regular offering of local and organic foods. They will also have copies of Tribal Histories of the Willamette Valley, by historian David Lewis.

All residents are welcome to attend. Guests can even bring a waste-free picnic and simply enjoy the beautiful farm.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 13
Local robot whizzes Zane Davis and Derek Schaefer




When first grader Miriam Case attended the opening night of the Children’s Art Show hosted by the Silverton Art Association on April 5, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Her drawing of a mermaid had been awarded third place for her age division.

“I just thought it would be in the gallery,” Case said. “But I won a prize!”

Open to the public Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. now through April 26, the Children’s Art Show features art from kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.

“The art is selected by the individual schools…” Hollie Newton, the show’s curator, said. “Each grade will have a first, second and third place. There will also be a Best of Show and a People’s Choice award.”

Children’s Art Show

• 303 Coolidge St., Silverton

serenegardensafch@ outlook com

Evaluated by Lunaria Gallery members Deborah Unger and Ann Altman, the show aims to provide young artists with the experience of participating in a professionally cultivated exhibit.

“The ultimate goal is a positive art experience – every time,” Newton, a teacher for the Arts Association, said. “I want students to have the opportunity to see their art on the wall and recognize that they are valued and their endeavors are valued. I hope this will be an inclusive event that is friendly and positive, and I hope that it will lead to future art appreciation and participation in local art events.”

She also hopes community members will visit the gallery – which is located directly across from Coolidge McClaine Park.

• Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 26

Teen Art Show

• Open to students in 6th through 12th grades

• Submissions accepted on April 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Limit of 3 submissions per artist

• Submissions must be labeled with first and last name, school, grade, teacher, art medium and a title.

• Opening reception May 5, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Both exhibits hosted at the Silverton Arts Association Gallery

“It is important for our community to support our youth and to recognize the value of the arts by showing up…” Newton said. “In our area, we do not have access to large amounts of art galleries and museums. We are very lucky to have small art shows like this…”

The Teen Art Show will open on May 5 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and run until May 31.

“[T]he older show is important because this is a unique developmental stage…” Newton said. “Right now, when we offer art classes at SAA for this age group, we do not get a lot of participation. I have noticed this when I am teaching in the schools too. It seems that by middle and high

school, students have sectioned themselves off into artist or non-artists. The students who identify as artists continue making art and the students who have determined themselves non-artists stop making art.”

She is hoping gallery opportunities like these shows will encourage students in grades six through 12 to consider giving art another chance.

“There is no submission fee,” she said. “The only guideline is that we ask that students limit their submissions to two to three pieces max.”

Art submissions will be accepted on Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

14 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life Young artists’ space
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Country home

Singer releases first music video ‘Bounty’

Right about the time Lexi Tucker was learning to talk, she was also learning to sing. Raised on a farm near Stayton, it didn’t take long before Tucker’s mom noticed her daughter’s talent and enrolled her in voice lessons.

“I always took the chance to sing in talent shows,” Tucker said, recalling that, even when the family moved to Silverton her sophomore year, she continued her music education, first by joining the choir, and later by teaching herself to play the guitar and write songs.

“I basically was only allowed to listen to country music,” she said of her early influences, “my parents didn’t approve much of popular music…I grew up on all the good ’90s country, primarily Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes who were my main musical idols as a kid. I still sing their songs to this day.”

The difference is that now she sings those songs – and her own as well – from a stage in Nashville, Tennessee, where she moved in 2019.

“I absolutely fell in love with the town’s energy,” she said. “It’s almost indescribable until you visit yourself. I’ve always been the spontaneous and adventurous type… I just knew I was supposed to be there.”

But Oregon still has a place in her heart. “I come back very often, as it is way too hard to be away from family, friends, and [my horse, Chief,] for more than a couple months,” Tucker said. “I spend most of my summers in Oregon. As much as I love Nashville, it doesn’t have the beauty that Oregon and our small towns do. I love hiking, camping, anything outdoors… I also just love the smalltown support and community, it’s so fun coming home to perform shows during the summer.”

Inspired by her family’s farm on the outskirts of Silverton this past fall, Tucker even spontaneously shot her first music video, Bounty, with Salem’s wildlife videographer, Chris Fischer. Released

to the public in December, the video has already gotten over 300,000 views on YouTube and has been featured on Country Music Television.

“We are currently finishing the next one for my latest single Did It Anyway and I am super excited about this one too,” Tucker said. “I am also now playing weekly on Broadway, twice a week at Alan Jackson’s bar, playing writer’s rounds and full band showcases.”

While it’s a dream come true, Tucker still has room for a few more.

“I would love to land a publishing deal and play throughout the states and hopefully get some songs cut by bigger artists,” she said. “I’m undecided if I want a record deal, but if the right one came along, I would be all for it. I just know I want to feel like I gave myself and my music my best shot during this next year and see what happens in the years to come…”

You can find Tucker’s music on all streaming platforms and her videos can be seen on both YouTube and Instagram.

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Musician Lexi Tucker SUBMITTED PHOTO

Computer science

Robby Morrissey’s AP Computer Science class at John F. Kennedy High School recently got the attention of an organization known as the College Board, which oversees advanced placement classes across the nation. The class enrollment is unusual in an industry composed mostly of white males.

“Last year the majority of the class (we had about 20) were females,” Morrissey explained. “And the year before that it was about a 50/50 split as well.”

Recognized by the College Board for his efforts to “increase female participation” in his classes, Morrissey sees the trend as having less to do with his influence and more to do with the culture of the school.

“A lot of times our female students are our higher achieving students,” he said. Explaining, “The draw [of AP classes] is college credit options.”

And JFK, with less than 200 students enrolled, is necessarily limited.

JFK teacher encourages all students to take AP class

“It’s hard to get full AP classes every year,” Morrissey explained, “Realistically at a small school we don’t have 15 AP kids in a grade.”

Instead, to keep the classes they do offer full, JFK’s AP courses rotate, with computer science offered every other year.

“That allows students to at least experience it,” Morrissey said. “Because even having a little background [in computer science] will set them up.”

After all, in today’s job market nearly every line of work requires the use of a computer.

“Maybe you have a business and have to set up your own website.” Morrissey said, explaining that, even those students who will one day take over their family’s farm will need to use programs like Excel to organize crop yields.

“You’re going to have to track that stuff on a spreadsheet,” he emphasized. “Just being able to get around on a computer… So many students are still computer illiterate.”

It’s a problem he hopes to remedy one computer science class at a time, by preparing students – regardless of their ethnicity or gender – for the future.

Wonder Mt. Angel School District encourages community reading

During the spring conferences held on March 22, each family in the Mt. Angel School District was given a gift – a brand new copy of R.J. Palacio’s award-winning book, Wonder

“We saw a need, especially as we come out of COVID,” Middle School Principal Jeff Taylor said of the project, which he hopes will encourage a citywide exploration of the book’s themes – acceptance, kindness, courage and inclusivity.

“These themes are themes we see in our schools that need some conversation,” Taylor said. “Because we have different populations in Mount Angel, and we need to be cognizant. We hold these ideas as adults as well, that everyone is like us.”

Inspired by programs like the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, which uses “a shared reading experience” to “inspire meaningful conversations, celebrate local creativity, elevate a wide variety of voices and perspectives, and build stronger connections in each community,” Taylor utilized his own community connection with Mt. Angel

Mt. Angel Middle School principal Jeff Taylor and library director Jackie Mills have teamed up to hold a community-wide reading program based around the novel Wonder

Public Library director, Jackie Mills, to get the project off the ground.

“Jeff walked into my library on a Tuesday in the summer and said, ‘I want to create an environment of literacy,’” Mills recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, yay!’”

A skilled grant writer, Mills applied for a

Rural Libraries Mini Grant from Oregon Humanities, and received the funding for  nearly 400 English, Spanish and audio versions of the book along with a host of event supplies.

“Jackie does a really good job holding all varieties of attractive events at the

library and she’s adjusting some of those activities to align with Wonder,” JFK principal Jessica Brenden said. “It’s a community collision, and I’m excited for what it can do for this town.”

Optimistic that at least 80 percent of the MASD population will engage with either the book or the movie adaptation, Taylor’s overarching goal is to create a shared experience.

“It’s the opportunity to open up a conversation,” he said, pointing out that even when a reader dislikes the book, there is still an opportunity for discussion.

“Let’s not shut that down,” he emphasized. “Let’s open it up.”

And there’s a strong academic component to the program as well.

“These are incremental steps to a larger goal,” Jeff admitted. “We’re looking to reignite a reading culture that has existed previously, and the library is part of that. I’m encouraged by the idea that we can all work together as a group.”

For a schedule of activities based on the book, Wonder, visit  www. mtangelpubliclibrary.com.

16 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
School Spotlight
MELISSA WAGONER John F. Kennedy High School computer science teacher Robby Morrissey MELISSA WAGONER

Best Fox Ever

Competition combines fundraising with pageantry

It’s Best Fox Ever season at Silverton High School, a time when six members of the senior class go headto-head in a competition to discover, not only who is the best fox but who can raise the most money for two important nonprofits, Silverton Area Community Aid and Medical Teams International – a nonprofit providing life-saving medical care to people around the world.

“I’m ecstatic to be raising money for a great cause that not only benefits our community, but the entire world,” contestant Arika Rodriguez said. “As a first-generation student with immigrant parents, I understand the hardships that many people can face, and I’m ready to put in the work to make a difference for the better.”

Similarly, Chris Cverna – whose maternal family members live in the Philippines where natural disasters like typhoons are common – was also drawn to the competition because of the funds it raises.

“Humanitarian aid operations similar to those performed today by Medical Teams International helped keep my family alive…” Cverna said. “I would like to take this opportunity given by SHS to raise money for a cause I believe in, and that has impacted my family directly.”

Primarily raising money through the sale of tickets for the contest’s final event – the Best Fox Ever pageant, held in the SHS auditorium Saturday, May 4, 7 p.m. – each contestant has created an Instagram page where they can both sell tickets and receive donations.

“I encourage people to follow my Best Fox Ever Instagram for further updates,” contestant Roman Pack said, “and to watch out for a dash and a song during the performance…”

Because the pageant’s biggest draw is by far the talent contest, which will feature – along with Pack’s musical number – Benjamin Moore (who refers to himself as, “am a man of the people”) performing acrobatic dancing,

SHS’s Best Fox Ever Competition

For tickets, to find out more information about events or to donate follow this year’s competitors on Instagram at:

• Chris Cverna @christhebestfoxever

• Kira Bailey @kira4bestfoxever

• Arika Rodriguez @arikarodriguez_bestfoxever

• Roman Pack @bestromanever

• Benjamin Moore @benmoorefor_bestfoxever

• RJ Marston @rj4bestfoxever

RJ Marston (“a longtime spokesperson of the Silverton skate community”) conquering his fear of snakes and Kira Bailey (who is “passionate about making a difference”) singing and playing the piano.

“[I]t will be so much fun!” Bailey said.

But for those who can’t make it, there will be other opportunities to support the contestants including, on Saturday, April 20, 6 to 8 p.m. in the SHS Commons, with BINGO and a silent auction.

“Community members of all ages can attend…” ASB Community Relations Officer Paisha Renoud said, listing the entrance fees as $15 for adults and $10 for kids. Then on Wednesday, April 24, 3:30 to 6 p.m. on the McGinnis Field there will be a Food Truck Festival providing top-notch cuisine, fun drinks and yard games. “We aim to raise $30,000 this year and need as much community participation as possible,” Renoud wrote in a press release. “Information on all of our fundraisers and general information about Best Fox Ever can be found on both our Silverton High School Facebook and Instagram, as well as the Silverton High School website. This is a long-standing Silverton High School tradition, and we are excited for our 2024 pageant!”

As your local State Farm® agent, I’ll be there whenever you need me with Good Neighbor service you can count on. Give me a call.

Larry Biggerstaff

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 17 PASSAGES SUBMISSIONS
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Ron Hunt

May 22, 1933 – April 2, 2024

Ronald (Ron) Edward Hunt of Salem, Oregon went to be with the Lord on April 2, 2024. He lived life to the fullest and died peacefully at Capital Manor in West Salem from heart related issues. Ron was born on May 22, 1933, in Portland, Oregon to William and Lucille (Bowman) Hunt.

Ron had a life-long love of sports, especially baseball. As a baseball pitcher, he achieved all-city and all-state status at Washington High School in Portland, Oregon. Ron was scouted by the Chicago Cubs and played pro ball in their Pacific Coast League (PCL). Years later, he enjoyed volunteering as a pitching coach at Salem Academy High School. During his years at Portland State University (PSU), he interned with The Oregonian as a sportswriter, covering sporting events and writing a weekly sports column. Ron served in the U.S. Navy Air Force on the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge aircraft carrier in the Pacific during the Korean War. Upon returning to Portland after his military service, he completed a Bachelor of Science, focusing on history and journalism at PSU.

Ron and Colleen (Doerfler) were married on June 24, 1972, at Maranatha Church in Portland. Though raised as an atheist, he became a Christian in his early 30s after someone from Campus Crusade referenced Matthew 18:3, “If you don’t change and become like a child, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.” After hearing these words, the Holy Spirit did a work in his heart, and he immediately gave his life to Jesus. From then on, his faith was an important part of his life.

He began working in the hearing aid field in 1958. As an entrepreneur, he opened offices in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Silverton, along with branch offices in several other Oregon locations. He developed lasting friendships with many he encountered and took joy in helping people. He retired just before he turned 85, and often said that working kept him young.

He and Colleen moved to Capital Manor in 2022. In his short time there, he made many friends and enjoyed pinochle, bridge, memoirs writing class, and hand-writing birthday cards with Bible verses for other residents.

Ron was preceded in death by his older sister, Eleanor (Hunt) Park. He is survived by, Colleen, his loving wife of nearly 52 years; daughters, Melissa Hunt and Julie Hunt, both residing in California, and Liz (and Brent) Hoffman, serving as missionaries with TEAM in Czech Republic. Also dear to him were relatives: Jackie and Dick Lefor, Doug and Vicki Doerfler, Mike and Bridget Lefor, Tom Lefor, Amy and Scott Rapp, Chris and Maggie Lefor, Jean-Marc Lefor, Steve and Christina Doerfler, and great nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the nursing, caregiving, and support staff of Capital Manor and Gentiva Hospice for their loving care of Ron. He will be remembered for his love for Colleen, his generosity, optimism, strong work ethic, sense of humor, love of good food and music, and frequent movie recommendations.

A viewing will be held at City View Funeral Home in Salem on Sunday, April 14 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, April 15 at 10 a.m., in the Capital Manor Auditorium in West Salem. Ron will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery on Tuesday, April 16 at 10 a.m.


Ronald ‘Tad’ Engle, Jr.

Ronald “Tad” Engle, Jr. passed away peacefully on March 11, 2024, at the age of 64. Tad is survived by his wife, Cookie Carroll; his parents, Ron and Connie Engle; his siblings, Eric (Cindy) Engle and Jacquie (Jon) Edgar; and his nieces and nephew, Jenny Jordan, Melissa Edgar, Keenan Engle, and Darian Engle.

May 2, 1959 – March 11, 2024

Tad grew-up in Silverton, Oregon. After high school he headed to Arizona to pursue a degree in architecture and design. Tad then went to Australia for a year to work on a farm and enjoy many memorable adventures. On returning to the States, Tad earned a degree in agriculture and viticulture from Oregon State University. He dedicated himself to his craft, working at Bradley Vineyards and Montinore Vineyards in Oregon. After meeting Cookie, Tad was ready for his next adventure. Twenty-four years ago, they packed up and moved to Costa Rica where they purchased a small farm

Tricia Marie Mulder

Tricia Marie Mulder was born on Oct. 29, 1961, in Newport Beach, California. A graduate of CSU Long Beach, she was married to James Paul Mulder on Feb. 5, 1994 in the San Diego, California temple.

Tricia found her greatest fulfillment in the embrace of her cherished family, the laughter of her grandchildren, and the warmth of devoted friends who became her extended family. As a dedicated piano teacher, she poured her heart into nurturing young talents, finding profound joy in witnessing their musical growth.

in La Soledad. Captivated by the possibilities, Tad and Cookie built a home and a working farm and closely integrated with the local community. Together, they welcomed the challenges and joys of their new life and seldom returned to the US.  Tad was a true adventurer, quick to smile, laugh, and pull a good prank. His fun-loving spirit is evident in all aspects of his life. After bravely facing a relatively brief battle with cancer, Tad has now begun his next great adventure. A “Celebration of Passing” was held in La Soledad followed by a casual celebration and toast. His lifelong friends celebrated Tad’s life near his hometown. Tad’s family will hold a private gathering later in the year to honor and raise a glass in his memory.

Tad’s love of life and mischievousness will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew him. For condolences and further information, please reach out to Tad’s family at tadenglememorial@gmail.com.

Oct. 29, 1961 – March 3, 2024

in the world of words. Proud of the home she meticulously decorated, Tricia could often be found basking in the warmth of the sun on her cozy bench on her front porch.  As a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Tricia selflessly gave her time and effort in the service of her faith.

From driving a school bus to acting in plays and even unicycling, Tricia loved to experience all that life had to offer.

Her love for travel took her to various corners of the world, but it was the Oregon coast that held a special place in her heart. Traveling the United States with her Jim was one of her greatest joys. Tricia loved experiencing new places and finding the beauty in new cities.

Tricia was a fervent supporter of local and small artists, adorning her home with their creative works. Immersed in literature and podcasts, she found solace and inspiration

She could find joy in the smallest things, readily using the word “magical” to describe something as simple as a stroll through an art shop. A gardener at heart, she loved pulling weeds and propagating her plants.

Her infectious joy and zest for life made every moment memorable. Tricia Marie Mulder’s legacy lives on in those who were fortunate enough to share in her boundless enthusiasm for life.

Tricia was laid to rest at Valley View Lutheran Cemetery in Silverton, Oregon.  Arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel – Silverton.

18 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life

Dorothy Marie Fish

Dorothy Marie Fish, 92, beloved wife and mother, passed away peacefully at Salem Hospital on March 12, 2024, in Salem, Oregon.

Dorothy was born on July 31, 1931 in Silverton, Oregon, to parents Emidio and Bertha DeSantis. She graduated from Mt. Angel Preparatory School (now JFK High School) and retired from the United States Postal Service after working many years as a rural letter carrier. She was active in the Catholic Church throughout her life.

July 31, 1931 – March 12, 2024

Roger and Wayne.

She and Boyd were married for 71 years, and they explored the world together, visiting over 20 countries and also touring the United States in their motor home. They split their retirement between Casa Grande, Arizona and Silverton. Dorothy enjoyed gardening, participating in church activities, and playing bridge with friends. She was a strong-willed Christian and set an example for being respectful and kind to all people.

In Memory Of …

Carol Baumgart Nov. 4, 1945 — March, 7, 2024

James Rogers Oct. 27, 1954 — March 8, 2024

Dorothy Fish July 31, 1931 — March 13, 2024

Andrew Amaral July 11, 1990 — March 16, 2024

Linda Gesler June 13, 1947 March 17, 2024

Nabor Castro July 28, 1937 — March 20, 2024

Annamae Layton Aug. 5, 1933 March 22, 2024

Michele Rowley Dec. 7, 1952 — March 23, 2024

Leland Hanscom Feb. 17, 1934 — March 23, 2024

Matthew James Aug. 7, 1978 March 24, 2024

David Hartley Aug. 28, 1938 March 27, 2024

Michael Bordelon Nov. 22, 1951

Robert DeSantis May 5, 1951

Ross Ryan Feb. 20, 1969

April 2, 2024

April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

Dorothy is survived by her children, Laura (Randy Egan), Randy (Jane), Kenneth (Kathy); daughter-in-law, Maureen; 10 grandchildren and 10 greatgrandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Boyd, and her sons,

Funeral services were held April 13 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Silverton, followed by commital at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery. Donations can be sent to support the Elks Lodge #2210, 300 High St., Silverton, Oregon 97381.

Michael Allen Bordelon

Nov. 22, 1951 – April 2, 2024

Michael Allen Bordelon, 72, of Silverton, Oregon, passed away peacefully at home on April 2, 2024, surrounded by family. Mike was one of five kids born to Patricia and Allen Bordelon of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. After graduating from high school in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forestry at Oklahoma State University (BS) and the University of Idaho (MS). He funded his education by fighting wildfires, first with the Forest Service and later with the BLM Smokejumpers out of Fairbanks, Alaska. Mike met Laure, the love of his life, at a University of Idaho square dance. They celebrated their honeymoon by driving from Alaska to Guatemala in their blue 1975 pick-up. This was the beginning of adventures that continued through their 48 years of marriage.

In 1987 Mike, Laure and their three young children moved to Oregon when Mike began working as a forest geneticist with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). A highlight of his career was the development of an innovative 20-year forest management plan for the state, a process that required stalwart commitment to consensus and compromise. More than any single achievement, though, his legacy at ODF was as an even-keeled leader, trusted mentor, and dear friend to those he

worked with. He retired after 28 years as the State Forests Division Chief.

A sportsman, Mike’s love for saltwater fishing became his retirement occupation when he put a live-fish permit on the F/V Blackjack, called his retired buddies, and joined the commercial fishing fleet at Port Orford. His family and friends remember his playful and generous spirit. From poker games to “boobie-bobbers”, lawn-surfing to ladder golf, Mike was always the force behind the fun. His storytelling abilities were especially cherished by those who were left in stitches over Mike’s endless misadventures. Mike treasured his family and their many adventures together over the years.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Silver Falls’ Smith Creek Meeting Hall on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Josiah Selvy Memorial Scholarship at Pacific High School (send to: P.O. Box 8, Port Orford, OR 97465) or Northwest Youth Corps (mightycause. com/organization/nwyouthcorps).

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 19
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Helping Hands

Rotary Readers Volunteers boost reading scores in Silve Falls schools

Learning to read is one of the most important skills a child can master, according to Mark Twain Elementary School principal Katie Beckett. “It’s the gateway to equity,” she said. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, especially for those students who spent their kindergarten year learning online during the COVID pandemic. For those students, lower than average reading scores have continued to show that they are still struggling despite the best efforts of teachers and administrators. Former SFSD Superintendent Scott Drue presented the topic to Silverton Rotarian Dixon Bledsoe over coffee in February 2023.

“He was talking about how hammered the kindergarteners got,” Dixon recalled. “It was their first introduction to school, and they had to do it online. They lost a lot of opportunities for social interaction and reading and math. It’s a national trend. The reading scores are horrible.” Alarmed, Dixon began searching for a way to help.

“I’m always looking for a project,” he laughed. “So, I said, ‘Scott, why don’t we have Rotary tackle it?’ It’s the best club I’ve ever been involved with, and a lot of Rotarians are retired… work from home or are in town.”

Intrigued, Drue introduced Dixon to Beckett, who – with 26 years of experience

as a reading specialist – he knew would be qualified to design the educational portion of a pilot reading program.

“I jumped on it as an opportunity,” Beckett said. “We wanted to take kids who were on the borderline of grade level, but wouldn’t necessarily get intervention otherwise, and give them extra instruction in phonics and fluency.”

With 16 second grade students identified in the “borderline” category, Dixon easily recruited eight volunteers and the team set to work.

“We went right down to the nitty gritty of how to make the sounds and blend them together fluently,” Beckett said of

“Kirstin Jorgenson [principal at Scotts Mills Elementary School], called and said, ‘Dixon, when are you going to get out here?’” he said. “But I’m terrified to go district wide.”

Terrified or not, Dixon decided to do exactly that this spring, recruiting a whopping 50 volunteers in just three days.

“At a time when resources are lacking, it’s the whole community coming together,” Beckett said. “And the cost is tiny – just prep time for the training and copying the materials.”

the training, which was delivered by the school’s intervention specialist, Cyndi Hagey, over the course of an hour and a half. “Now our tutors really do have skills.”

And they put those skills to use, spending a half an hour each week reading with and getting to know the students.

“It’s the power of building those relationships with the students which is special and motivating,” Beckett explained. So motivating that, when the students were evaluated in late spring, the reading scores for 14 of the 16 students showed “accelerated growth.”

That’s when word of Rotary Readers began getting around.

Hailing from organizations including the Zenith Women’s Club and the Kiwanis Club, each volunteer was once again trained by Hagey before being paired with two students – this time from one of six elementary schools in the district – who they meet with once a week from March 5 to May 24.

“Thirty minutes of concentrated reading doesn’t seem like a lot,” Dixon said. “But for some of these kids, that’s the only time anyone reads with them.”

And, as last year’s Rotary Readers program already showed, even 30 minutes can make a marked difference, one that Beckett hopes will continue throughout the district for years to come.

“My hope for the future is just… that people come back and already know how to do what we taught them to do,” Beckett said. “Because I want every student reading at grade level.”

20 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
Instructional specialist and literacy coach Cyndi Hagey teaching a class of Rotary Readers volunteers. DIXON BLEDSOE

Winning streak

The Kennedy High baseball team won its final 7 games in the 2022 season, ending up with a state Class 2A-1A title. Last year, a veteran team that started eight seniors went 31-0 and repeated as state champions.

This season a young squad with just one returning starter, Brody Kleinschmit, won its first eight games. That’s 46 in a row over three seasons.

The winning streak is the longest in Oregon history, regardless of what class. Knappa won 42 in a row twice, during the 2015-16 season and the 2017-18 seasons when the Loggers, under coach Jeff Miller, took three state titles while finishing runner-up once.

The Kennedy streak ended April 2 with an 8-2 loss at Umpqua Valley Christian of Roseburg, the same program that defeated Kennedy 10-5 in nine innings for the 2019 title, a loss Kennedy turned around by an 11-1 count in the 2022 title game.

Kevin Moffatt, 49, is in his 19th season as the baseball coach and athletic director at the Mount Angel school. He knows what sixth-graders are going to make a big splash four years from now. He knew he had a special group when the Trojans went 18-1 during an abbreviated 2021 COVID-19 season that featured sophomores Charlie Beyer, Ethan Kleinschmit, Brian Beyer, Matt

Moffatt, Trojans set new state record

Hopkins, Owen Bruner, Luke Beyer and Andrew Cuff

Those seven players all started when Kennedy downed UVC in the 2022 title game. Ditto for the 2023 title game against Blanchet Catholic.

“Those players would have won a ton of games no matter who was in the third base coaching box,” Moffatt told Our Town at the end of a recent practice. “This year we have had to coach more. Last year sometimes we were just managing egos, trying to keep everybody happy and fine-tuning things.”

Moffatt has nine sophomores and two freshmen on this year’s roster and the 9-1 record has the veteran coach “pleasantly surprised. We’ve played well. We’re not as athletic as we’ve been in the past. Our goal is to work hard, grow and whatever happens, happens.”

Kennedy opened Special District 2 play with a 14-1 win vs. Colton. Moffatt sees Blanchet as the class of the league. “They are the best team in the state and it’s not even close,” he said of the Cavaliers squad that started a sophomore-heavy lineup in last year’s title game.

Kennedy should contend for the league’s second automatic playoff spot with Country Christian. An at-large spot would

be likely should the Trojans fail to make the top two.

To this untrained eye, watching a lanky group of energetic Kennedy kids practicing on a typically cool and windy day at their hilltop ballpark, you get the sense that the team is going to continually get better, that the classic Moffatt formula of pitchers throwing strikes, making plays on defense, executing offensively and running the bases well will yield positive results and that by playoff time no one will want any part of the Trojans.

Boys Volleyball: Yes, boys volleyball. The OSAA has declared the sport an “emerging” activity and Silverton head coach Benson Short, who also works on boys basketball, has approximately 20 players out for the team. Silverton boys soccer coach Marty Limbird, who played volleyball in high school in Canada and former beach volleyball participant Adam Bradford are assisting.

The Foxes play in the North Willamette Conference, and the schedule consists of 10 varsity matches and three weekend tournaments. Here is a link to the schedule page: https://www. oregonboysvball.org/page/show/8402330silverton-high-school/.

“This is a very special season for us,” Short told Our Town. “It is the first time boys volleyball has been brought to Silverton. The athletes that we have

are amazing young men with a heart and passion to learn the sport and grow together. Already there is a synergy with the athletes that we as coaches have seldom seen. We would love to invite the community to come out and attend our home games this season.”

The squad is working with equipment borrowed from Chemeketa Community College, where Limbird teaches, and Short figures it will cost $5,000 to run the full season.

Key expenses include jerseys, tournament fees, officials and janitorial service for home games. Short said that the program has raised about $3,000 and he is encouraging community members and businesses to get in touch with Bradford (aandebradford@ gmail.com or call/text 503-999-8298) if they can assist. Looking ahead, the program also will need gear for next year as well as matching shorts for the players.

Top players on this year’s squad who have made their mark elsewhere at Silverton include Nolan Horner, Tristan Keopadapsy, Emmett Limbird, Cohen Mulick, Trevor Redman-Brown and Elisha Short

Girls Basketball: The awards continue to flow in for Silverton’s girls basketball squad. Kyleigh Brown has been named Class 5A’s state player of the year, with Alyssa Ogle earning 5A’s top coaching honor. Ogle and the Foxes went 24-4 in 2023-24, downing Crater 61-60 in overtime to win the school’s fourth state title.

Willamette Valley Savour is bringing the best of our valley to one location. Enjoy live music while sampling array of Oregon wines, craft beers, hard ciders, spirits, tasty bites and artisan crafts from an exclusive list of exhibitors on display.

Our Town Life ourtownlive.com April 2024 • 21 Sports & Recreation TASTING EVENT MAY 17-18 THE OREGON GARDENS
MAY 17-18, 2024 | Oregon Garden in Silverton
4-9 PM |
12-9 PM Buy your tickets at savourthevalley.org
JFK baseball coach, Kevin Moffatt. JAMES DAY

Before Our Town

I grew up in a family, and community, which revered our small-town newspaper. We read it, we discussed it and we argued about it when we thought the viewpoint was flawed. We knew the writers. We saw them at gatherings, they were the friends of my parents and the parents of my classmates. In other words, they were people just like us.

One of the journalists, a woman named Elane, covered each of the school events. Every time I saw her it felt like a celebrity was in the room. She would enter, camera hung about her neck, notepad in her hand, looking for all the world like a real reporter – because that’s what she was. And whether she was covering breaking news or a school play, she made you feel like she was really interested in what you had to say, like your story was important – like you were important.

An ode to a small town newspaper

And once the articles were printed, we cut them from the pages, pasted them into scrapbooks or filed them away for the next generation, proof that we had once done something worth remembering.

When my grandmother died, I found heaps of those sepia-toned relics, notes scribbled into the margins, written in her delicate hand. I recognized my own, younger face in several, my name still attached to its maidenhood. I tucked them away, relics of a bygone time when I could search the pages of the paper,

confident that I would recognize nearly every name. When I left home for college, I missed that.

And then I moved to Silverton and was giddy to discover that here was a small-town paper, reminiscent of the one I’d left behind. From it I learned about my new community, the neighbors, businesses, schools and events. I joked with my husband that I wouldn’t truly belong to this place until the day I found my own name.

Now of course my wish has been granted hundreds of times over as I have become my own version of Elane, walking into auditoriums, camera around my neck, notebook in my hand, greeting people I know from other gatherings, friends whose kids go to school with mine.

It has been a privilege, sharing this community’s stories, revealing what

might otherwise go unnoticed. And it’s one I don’t plan to give up any time soon. Because, in this digital age of information overload, I feel so lucky to live in a place where so many still see the value in interacting with their local news, in frequenting the businesses they see in the ads, in congratulating their neighbor who just had a baby, in mourning with a friend who just lost a parent.

And I’m happy to know that so many still read the paper in print and not just on a computer screen. It brings a lump to my throat to see the neat bundles of papers stacked in the waiting rooms, to have people stop me in the streets to tell me that, not only did they like what they read, but that they cut out the article, pasted it in a scrap book and put it away for the next generation to find.

22 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life A Slice of the Pie
Serve nutritious food to your older neighbors today! To learn more, call 503-967-1849 “A couple of the people I deliver meals to, I don’t think they get a lot of traffic at their house. So, me delivering meals and talking with them is really important.” – MOW Volunteer Help Your Community • Connect with Others Be a Friendly and Familiar Face Join Our Meals on Wheels Volunteer Team in Your Area! whitney@silvertonrealty.com mike@silve rtonrealty.com 303 Oak St. Silverton • www.SilvertonRealty.com Whitney & Mike Ulven, Brokers Licensed in the State of Oregon. “Whitney and Mike were fantastic, very knowledgeable of the area and had the connections to make sure my first time home buying experience was a great one! Happy to have worked with them!” —Daniel Whitney & Mike Ulven cell: 503-705-6118 Have Whitney and Mike Ulven of Silverton Realty lead you on your journey home!



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A public meeting of the Budget Committee of Silver Falls Library District, Marion County, Oregon will be held on April 23, 2024 at 5:30pm. This will be a hybrid meeting hosted through

Zoom (Meeting ID# 880 1701 9820) and at the Library Program Room, 410 S. Water St, Silverton. The agenda will include the FY 25 budget message and public comment. A copy of the budget document may be obtained on or after April 17 at the Library during open hours or on the website www.silverfallslibrary.org. Please call 503-873-5770 or email (shigby@silverfallslibrary. org) at least 48 hours prior to the session if you require accommodations to fully participate in this meeting. 3/29/24



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24 • April 2024 ourtownlive.com Our Town Life
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