Something to Talk About
Escalating prices pose a housing market riddle – Page 4
Vol. 17 No. 21
Wildcats vs. wildfire: A rescue mission – Page 18
COMMUNITY NEWS Serving Mt. Angel, Silverton, and Scotts Mills
Pregnant during a pandemic – Page 8
Our Town P.O. Box 927 Mt. Angel, Or 97362
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Get moving now – Tips to beat the quarantine 15 – Page 14
Joe & Dana Giegerich
Serving all your Real Estate needs! Specializing in Acreage Properties. Looking for something special? Let us know! Give us a call for a free Market Evaluation.
154.13 acres ideal for livestock includes 1236 sf home, barn, shop & mountain views. 39020 Fish Hatchery Dr., Scio. MLS#768363
59.52 acres, irrigated crop land, updated farmhouse, 2 shops, and more. 17879 Mt AngelScotts Mills Rd. NE, Silverton MLS#769608
Contemporary home, 600 ft. view of Silver Creek, designer amenities thru out! Must see! 414 Silver St., Silverton. MLS #769257
148.46 quality, farmable acres. Springwater soils, excellent income and investment. Wildcat Rd., Molalla. MLS #769953
Prime development. 4.54 acres on level ground. 202 Division St., Silverton. MLS#761593
25 acre timbered estate. Huge shop, dual living, vintage barn. 12012 S Wildcat Rd., Molalla. MLS#765660
Custom home, dual master suites. 14.76 acres, 2 shops, barn, views. 12345 S. Fox Rd., Molalla. MLS#766127
Prime commercial corner. Vintage home, upgraded electrical. 612 N. First St., Silverton. MLS#761672
62 farmable acres. Buildable w/ income formula. 437 Victor Point Rd. N., Silverton.
24.72 buildable acres. Creek runs through. 5231 Timber Trail Rd. NE, Silverton. MLS#761966
$490,000 55.24 secluded acres. Dream homesite with mature timber. Liberty Rd., Dallas. MLS#761735
$200,000 4.875 acres. Near Silver Falls. Private creek. Includes livable 35 ft. RV. Silverton Hills. MLS#762043
$175,900 On Silver Creek! Large 12,527 sq ft lot. Exclusive Viesville Gardens subdivision. MLS#765915
17.31 farmable acres, mostly level. Terrific investment. Wildcat Rd., Molalla. MLS#769950
Fantastic farm. 80.44 acres with water rights. 10963 Porter Rd. SE, Aumsville. MLS#761589
39.35 acre homestead. Views. Organic soils. 12545 S. Wildcat Rd., Molalla MLS#761661
60.75 acre bareland farm. 12430 Waldo Hills Dr. SE, Salem. MLS#761788
$159,000 Off the grid. 2.83 acre wooded homesite. Gated location. Private and secluded. Silverton. MLS#762072
2 Pending / 1 SOLD $229,000/ea
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2 • November 2020
26.14 acres. Water well, 40x40 open equipment bay. Wildcat Rd., Molalla. MLS769952
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Something to Talk About Home prices make it hard to stay ..........4 Something to Think About Local documentary, book focus on homelessness..................................6
Family Matters Pregnant during a pandemic.................8
Arts & Entertainment
Wallace Berry and The Membership......10
Preschool adapts to COVID changes......11
The plan for the Palace....................... 13 Your Health Steps to rebuild healthy routines........ 14
Briefs.........................................16 Helping Hands Tool drive becomes a memorial........... 17
A Grin At The End...........22 Above On the cover
Big cats rescued from wildfires.............18
Lainie Pyper, Fitness Instructor at Anytime Fitness in Silverton. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Data is in its early days, but the medical field has some tips for expectant mothers during COVID-19. MAIN PHOTO © PITINAN / 123RF.COM VIRUS © KTSDESIGN / 123RF.COM
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Melissa Wagoner Reporter
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P.O. Box 927 Mount Angel, OR 97362 401 Oak St. Silverton, OR 97381 503-845-9499 email@example.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 Nov. 15 issue is Nov. 5. Contributors Dixon Bledsoe • Carl Sampson Brenna Wiegand Thank you for spending time with Our Town. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
November 2020 • 3
Something to Talk About
Housing riddle By Melissa Wagoner When Amanda Baird and her husband, Jake, moved to Silverton in 2014 buying a home didn’t go well. “The home was nice but the lot was tiny,” Amanda recalled. And while it wasn’t perfect, the Bairds put in an offer anyway. “Unfortunately, that fell through due to the appraisal coming back significantly lower than what the sellers could accept,” Amanda said. Undaunted, the couple moved on, renting for a year, starting a family and eventually purchasing a different house in 2015. Then, in 2018 – only three years after moving into that first starter home – the Bairds were forced to sell. “I accepted a position at a camp by Silver Falls as the Director of Food Services,” Amanda said. “They provide lodging for staff, so there was no need for us to keep our home. We figured we’d sell this home,
What price do you pay for a home in a community you love?
work at the camp for however long, and buy a new one that fit our growing family at that time.” And selling the house went well. “When we listed our home for sale, I was shocked at the Realtor’s recommended listing price,” Amanda recalled. “I thought surely we’d never get an offer that high and thought it would be a long time before it sold. Part of me felt greedy asking so much. When we got multiple offers within the first week I was stunned.” “[W]e sold very easily and quickly with multiple offers above listing price,” Jake added. “It appreciated about 20 percent in those four years. At the time it felt like a great deal.” That 20 percent increase was right on par with what Realtor Connie Hinsdale, recently retired owner and principal broker of Harcourts Northwest Realty Group in Silverton, saw during those years. “Prices have gone up really quickly,” Hinsdale confirmed. A veteran of the
real estate markest since 1985, she added “That’s really largely because of the shortage of inventory. You have sellers who are getting offers $10,000 to $20,000 more than what they’ve listed for.” Which brings us to today, when – after only a year – the Bairds’ housing situation changed yet again. “My husband was laid off due to company closures and I left my job at the camp,” Amanda said. “We moved off the mountain and back into town in the cheapest rental we could find.” But renting wasn’t what the Bairds had in mind, especially not long-term and not with rent costing them an estimated $300 more per month than their previous mortgage. “The rental market is as tough as the sales market,” Hinsdale agreed. “And the rents are through the roof.” But the Bairds remained optimistic – at least at first. “When we got our pre-approval from our
That excitement quickly waned, however, as home prices, a dominant cash-only market and bidding wars made buying a home – any home – seem impossible. “We went from looking at houses and seriously considering them and putting in offers, to just thinking there’s no way we can afford a house with the amenities that we’d want in our price range,” Jake said. “It’s got us talking with our rental agency about extending our lease.” While the Bairds are discouraged about the state of the housing market in Silverton, they are still committed to living in the community and are loath to look elsewhere, even if it means they will never again own their home. “I’m not going to lie, I would talk to Jake about moving away all the time,” Amanda said. “But we love our town. We don’t want to move. This is our home and even
Where the people are loved and the Word of God is preached.
Located at Barlow & Monte Cristo Roads. Meet Pastor Tim Douglass and join us Sundays 11:00 a.m.
Thank you to all the firefighters, incident responders, police, neighbors, other citizens and companies that helped save and defend our homes, properties and communities during the Beachie Creek Fire.
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While not everyone was as fortunate, we are so grateful and appreciative of the incredible effort that was displayed in fighting this devastating wildfire.
Have a home to rent? Call us!
Have a home to rent? Call us! We specialize in Residential Properties.
That is why we are proud to be Oregonians. The Torres Family Crooked Finger Road, Scotts Mills 4 • November 2020
lender, I did a happy dance,” Amanda recalled. “Surely we could buy our dream home, after all we were approved for twice as much as we were in 2015.”
503-873-7069 Property Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
if we can’t own a piece of its land we want to live here, in this town.” The Bairds aren’t alone. The housing prices that went up considerably in the three years between the Bairds first purchase and their attempted second have continued to rise, making it especially difficult for first-time homebuyers or those families just starting out. “A lot of times they’re going to Aumsville, Keizer... and building up equity and then moving back,” Hinsdale said. She said she sees the wisdom in such a plan, adding, “Saving their money and having a 20 to 25 percent down payment is really important.” That down payment is key no matter where people are looking to buy because, even in this time of economic crisis, the housing market is by no means slowing down. “Some of my agents have been busier through COVID,” Hinsdale said. “They’ve
actually sold more.” Much of that increase is due to interest rates, Hinsdale said, which have dropped in some cases to less than three percent. “We’re seeing people buying houses and duplexes as rental homes,” Hinsdale added, noting many people are buying for investment purposes. “We’ve had people that say the prices are going to start dropping but we’re not seeing that right now.” While Hinsdale, who has seen home prices and interest rates fluctuate throughout her time in real estate, is confident about the overall stability of the housing market, Jake is far less sure. “Looking at how the market has moved in the past six months and how it has grown, I think it is over inflating itself,” he said. “I think there’s going to be a very steep drop-off. Housing markets are consistent, they have their ups then they have their downs, but when they go up as fast as it has in a very uncertain time where people
are struggling to even pay their bills and the only reason that people can maintain their homes is because of restrictions put in by government... I feel there is going to be a very steep drop. People are going to lose their homes. “Landlords who have seen renters unable to pay their rent have also been unable to pay their mortgages and are going to look for a way out,” he predicted. “They’ll look to sell their homes as well as the families who have struggled through this time unable to pay their own mortgages. I think there will be a boom in supply which will lead to a reduction in cost – basic supply and demand.” When those prices drop – if they drop – the Bairds say they will be ready to buy. But for now, they wait. “When we first moved to Silverton, we couldn’t buy the house we wanted because it wasn’t worth enough to sell,” Amanda lamented. “Now we can’t buy a house because they’re all worth too much. How incredibly ironic yet unamusing.”
She encourages those interested in cleaning out their closets who find a clean coat or sweater in good condition to donate to the center’s drive. The Mt. Angel Senior Center is located at 195 E. Charles St. It is open 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Bates added they would like to have Friday hours, but need volunteers to do so. If you are interested, she can be reached at 503-845-6998, or you can visit the center and see what’s going on.
The City will provide information here each month on important topics. Upcoming agenda items are subject to change and meetings subject to rescheduling or cancellation due to the COVID-19 Emergency. Please check the website for remote participation options.
~ Repair/Recover ~ Make new sofas
City Leaders Want You to Know
Big variety of fabrics! Previously owned furniture place in Silverton. Will come to you & quote cost for repair.
Fire Updates and Recovery: Many resources are available for those affected by the wildfires. Please visit wildfire.oregon.gov for comprehensive information for both situational awareness and recovery. COVID-19 Resource Line Available Countywide: Are you looking for assistance with a COVID-19 related issue? Marion County is available to help over the phone 7 days a week from 8 a.m. 8 p.m. – 503-576-4602.
Nov. 2: Urban Renewal Agency at 6 p.m. followed by City Council Meeting. • URA: Civic Center Funding – minor amendments, motion to proceed with loan; SURAC appointment. • City Council: Civic Center items; CARES Act Community Funding; utility bills as lien on property. Nov. 10: Planning Commission at 7 p.m. • Modification to Westside Gateway Planned Unit Development.
Classes are again held at Silverton Community Center! We’ve added a Wednesday morning class! Check out our new schedule at www.jazzercise.com/location/ jazzercise-silverton-community-center
City Updates Re: COVID-19: Please visit the City’s website for the latest updates on City services and facilities. Staff are available even when facilities may be closed or have limited access to the public. Appointments are encouraged. For all staff contact information, visit www.silverton.or.us/directory. Civic Center Project Updates: Stay informed on what’s next at www.silverton.or.us/ agendacenter. Get caught up on all project milestones to date at www.silverton.or.us/ EugeneField. Nov. 11: Veteran’s Day Holiday – City Hall Closed Nov. 16: City Council and Planning Commission Joint Work Session at 6 p.m. • Westfield Property; Housing Needs Analysis Prioritization. Nov. 17: Affordable Housing Task Force at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 17: Environmental Mgmt. Committee at 3 p.m. Nov. 26 & 27: Thanksgiving Day Holiday – City Hall Closed
Be Informed: complete details on these topics are located on the City’s website: www.silverton.or.us
Jazzercise Silverton Oregon for Fall Updates 503-873-8210
The Mt. Angel Senior Center is having a Coat and Sweater Drive. It is an exchange as well, center director Donna Bates reports, so if you need a coat or sweater you can drop by and select one.
The Furniture Shop 503.874.9700
Mt. Angel Senior Center holds Coat and Sweater Drive / Exchange
Have a Voice: attend City meetings For times: www.silverton.or.us/government
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November 2020 • 5
Please Join Us For
Something to Think About
hering of the t a G A
Documentary puts faces to story of homeless By Melissa Wagoner “Think of the people that have loved you into being,” Hilary Dumitrescu, a board member with Sheltering Silverton, said at the debut of a new documentary on Oct. 2. “What if you had no one? Or the someone that you had was no longer in your life? The two people you’re about to meet had no one to love them into being until they came to us.” Those people are Teagan and Jordan, two Silvertonians who recently found help when they needed it most within the walls of Sheltering Silverton. The 15-minute video was written and directed by Scotts Mills resident and award-winning documentarian, Michael Turner. “I talked to Mike about a film that would help to educate the public,” Dumitrescu said.
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To which Turner added, “It was one of the most difficult projects I’ve done because I didn’t want to intrude on people’s privacy during a delicate time.” Turner found two willing contributors in Teagan – whose homelessness stemmed from her need to escape a domestic violence situation – and Jordan – who has suffered a lifetime of abuse, mental illness and addiction in his hometown. “Those two ended up being good examples because they were both homeless for different reasons,” Turner said. “Sheltering Silverton made such an impact on their lives that I thought it would make a compelling story.” Their stories lead to Teagan finding full-time employment doing a job she loves and Jordan receiving help for many medical needs. But it’s the volunteers, many of whom are also interviewed within the documentary, who tell the bigger story, that of the growing issue of homelessness and the lack of resources that surround it. It makes success stories like Teagan and Jordan’s less and less common. “For every one person you might see that’s visibly homeless, there’s a huge network of people who are invisibly homeless,” Dumitrescu said following the premiere. That number is growing, with an estimated 1,000 households becoming displaced due to the recent wildfires.
Teagan and Jordan, the subjects of a new Sheltering Silverton documentary. SUBMITTED PHOTO
“We’re facing a tsunami of newly homeless,” Dumitrescu confirmed. “It’s bringing a lot of things to light that we were able to ignore before.” While most communities have prioritized organizations to help with issues like hunger, there are often little to nothing that sufficiently addresses homelessness. “We are plunging into a winter season that has a lot of uncertainty,” Dumitrescu confirmed. Adding that, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, “For the first time in four years we are not going to do a warming shelter.” For the remainder of the pandemic, Sheltering Silverton is restructuring to focus all of its resources into its daytime Resource Center, where clients find assistance. Which is why establishing funding and educating the community about homelessness is important. Sheltering Silverton hopes Turner’s documentary will help, by putting faces and names to the work they have been doing for the past four years. “[Michael] did a really good job of telling the stories of the people we love,” Sheltering Silverton’s Director Sarah White said. She added that this kind of understanding is a core value within Sheltering Silverton. “We believe in kinship,” she said simply. “And we believe that no one finds transformation and safety unless they are first seen and understood.”
Self published book made available for free By Brenna Wiegand
Homelessness – How a Small Town Can Make a Big Difference
Once again, Karen Garst’s response to an issue that strikes her heart is to take up pen and paper – figuratively speaking.
Free; available at: smalltownhomeless.com
Her eBook, Homelessness – How a Small Town Can Make a Big Difference is available online and, unlike her two previous books, free. She’d planned to self-publish through Amazon to generate funds for Silverton’s battle against homelessness.
Karen Garst, author.
“I found out authors don’t make SUBMITTED PHOTO any money unless they’re in the top 1% or something so I decided to give it away for free,” Garst said. “It is available in all formats through the website.” Garst retired as executive director of the Oregon Bar Association in 2008 and, in 2016, she and husband Ron chose Silverton as their “forever home.” In looking for a meaningful way to volunteer, her eyes were opened to the number of local people with no homes or tenuous housing situations and also to the tireless efforts of those working to eradicate an epidemic largely invisible to the general populace. “I was very impressed at all the things the people in this small town were doing to help other people,” she said. “I wanted to honor these people who work so hard and I also wanted people to learn what circumstances can lead to homelessness and frankly, a lot of people are just one paycheck away.” Garst got involved with Sheltering Silverton, helping prepare meals and spending nights in the warming shelter at Oak Street Church where up until the COVID -19 crisis people with nowhere to go could find shelter on freezing winter nights. She also became privy to the roadblocks Sheltering Silverton encounters at every turn, now even more daunting in the face of the pandemic. Due to fire regulations the church can no longer provide a warming shelter and a new location has yet to be secured. In March, the Silverton Community
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Center, housing Sheltering Silverton, Silverton Together and Silverton Area Community Aid, was shut down. The groups continue to find ways to reach their clients and over the past year Sheltering Silverton has helped 56 families transition into stable housing.
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Sheltering Silverton Director Sarah White continues to work with clients needing food, shelter, help with bills, employment, transportation, and other basics. “We have partnered with Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency to provide COVID-related rental assistance to help keep people in their housing when they might otherwise lose it,” White said. “This has been a great success.” Garst said Silverton has a severe lack of low-income and mixed housing. “There’s a two-year waiting list for senior housing here,” she added.
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Garst spent the last year interviewing volunteers, churches, City representatives and other organizations and gathered the stories of many homeless or previously homeless people.
Chemeketa Community College has more than 90 career and technical education programs offering training in the region’s most in-demand jobs.
“I guess I want to create some empathy,” Garst said. “There are 10,000 people in this town and probably 100 off and on that are homeless. We should be able to help them out. “I consider Silverton a model for other communities who don’t want to wait for federal, state or even county government to solve the problem of homelessness and for residents to realize that these people have just as much right to live here as they do.”
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November 2020 • 7
Precautions remains key for happy outcomes
By Melissa Wagoner
For many people, fear of contracting COVID-19 is at the forefront of their mind. But for women who are pregnant during this pandemic, that fear is doubled, because they are not only worried about their own health but that of their unborn child.
• Consider the prevalence of COVID-19 in your area verses your conception timeline. • Take a daily prenatal vitamin. • Get a check-up – including blood pressure, bloodwork and a discussion of any family history with your doctor.
“There is so much uncertainty about the virus and how it impacts the body,” Emily Paysinger, 27, who is pregnant with her first child, due in late November. “We’ve seen it play out so many different ways for people who have gotten sick – everything from asymptomatic carriers to leg amputations related to clotting problems, to rapid decline and death. It’s hard not to worry that it could impact the baby in a way no one expects if I were to get sick, since there have been so many unexpected outcomes in adults.” Unfortunately, Paysinger’s fears are not unfounded. As with anyone who contracts the disease, it’s impossible to fully predict how COVID-19 will affect either a pregnant mom or her baby. The best healthcare providers can offer is prevention. “There’s not a whole lot known in the first and second trimesters,” Dr. Leslie Drapiza, a family medicine physcian with Yakima Family Farm Workers Clinic in Keizer said. “We do know that vertical transmission is possible, they have picked up on Ig antibodies in the neonate and then there are some studies also that are showing that there has been an increase in preterm births.” But all of that evidence is still largely anecdotal, according to Dr. Drapiza who added, “There was an article that came out in The New York Times asking, ‘Where are the preemies?’ And some OBs are saying they’re seeing more stillbirths. But the studies are not clear yet. We just don’t have enough information. Some neonatologists said their NICUs are full. But I definitely think we need more information.” Preterm labor, stillbirth and NICU can be scary words to any woman considering becoming pregnant. Fortunately, Dr. Drapiza has cared for a number of patients who, though they have tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancies, have experienced little to no lasting effects, either to themselves or to their unborn children.
8 • November 2020
Emily Paysinger earlier in her pregnancy.
“The majority seem to be asymptomatic and they’re not passing it on to their newborns,” Dr. Drapiza said. “There have been some patients that have been intubated but they recovered.” The other common complication Dr. Drapiza has witnessed thus far, is an increase in preeclampsia – a potentially dangerous condition characterized by high blood pressure and extreme swelling. “There’s nothing you really can do to prevent it,” she said. “And we just don’t know who will be affected severely. We see healthy young people get really sick without underlying conditions.” But, while the symptoms experienced by pregnant women may be somewhat different from what the rest of those infected experience, the best way to stave off the infection is largely the same – practice good hand hygiene, limit contact with people outside your own household, and, when you must go out, physically distance and wear a mask. “My midwife hasn’t expressed any special concerns that I might contract COVID due to being pregnant,” Paysinger confirmed, “but she has advised me to continue being safe in how I interact with others and in the world.” Typically, as a pregnant woman, that “world” includes both physicians and nurses at regular intervals in a clinic setting during prenatal appointments, something those clinics have worked hard
• Make sure you have a 30-day supply of medications in case you need to quarantine.
• When possible, breastfeeding is still considered best – even if the mother tests COVID-positive.
• Consider quarantining during the days leading up to birth.
• Teach siblings the importance of hygiene and handwashing.
• Forgo in-person baby showers – consider a virtual option.
• Develop a circle of friends and family who will co-isolate.
• Maintain a physical distance and wear a mask when going out.
• Ask visiting relatives to isolate and wear masks.
• Wash your hands.
• Call your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of postpartum depression.
• Don’t skip prenatal appointments.
COURTESY ELIJAH NEVES
• Call if your doctor with any questions.
• Limit interactions with other people. to make as safe as possible. “A lot of clinics, ours included, are finding ways to separate the sick from the healthy,” Drapiza said. “There are screeners at the door and face masks are mandatory for all healthcare workers and patients. No exceptions.” But what about hospitals? When it comes time for the pregnant mom to deliver, it is even more important that safety protocols be in place. Which is why women are now allowed only one labor support person and are given a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to delivery. “All the staff will be screened before they come to work and they will be in PPE,” Drapiza said of the extra precautions being taken in the labor and delivery ward. “No visitors and no children allowed right now.” Unfortunately, if the father, or delivery support person, tests positive, that person is also exempt from being present at the birth – a possibility that weighs heavy on Paysinger’s mind. “I worry about what happens when I go into labor if I were to test positive for COVID or if my husband were to test positive,” she admitted. “My husband [Elijah Neves] is a teacher, so of course I fear him going back to the classroom, getting sick, and then maybe not being able to be there for the delivery or the
first little chunk of our son’s life due to illness.” A cautious approach is also something Dr. Drapiza recommends. “There’s no way to completely eliminate risk but there are things you can do to decrease risk,” she advised. “For siblings, teaching the importance of handwashing and hand sanitizer, to wash their hands after blowing their nose, before eating food and after touching their face. And most families need to come up with their circle – a select number of relatives that agree to not see other people and to wear masks when they’re around the baby.” But these precautions, while necessary, can also be isolating, especially during the initial postpartum weeks. “You don’t have that same level of help and support from family members,” Dr. Drapiza said. “So, I’m encouraging people to reach out. If they don’t feel like they have anyone in town, start with their healthcare provider – counselors can meet over Zoom.” It’s a lot to take in. But for Dr. Drapiza, whose passion is attending births and then watching those healthy babies change and grow, it still feels hopeful. “Delivering babies, bringing new life into the world, I don’t think there’s anything more hopeful than that,” Drapiza said. “I still feel like that’s such a huge privilege.”
S e r v i n g t h e W i l l a m e t t e Va l l e y f o r A l l Yo u r R e a l E s t a t e N e e d s
R E S I D E N T I A L Introducing Introducing Introducing
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LAND & LOTS $325,000 Wide Open Spaces! 270.34 Unique Recreation Acres ~ Scio Donna Paradis 503-851-0998 MLS#758960 $129,900 Vista Ridge! .17 ac view lot ~ Silverton Connie Hinsdale 503-881-8687 MLS#757400 • ••• •
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$330,000 NEW LISTING! 3bd/1.5ba ~ 1372 SF ~ .14 ac ~ Mt Angel Rosie Wilgus 503-409-8779 MLS#770132
$795,000 Luxurious Log Cabin! 3bd/2ba ~ 2543 SF ~ 14.09 Acres ~ Hebo Nick Ayhan 503-314-1651 MLS#767230
$329,900 NEW LISTING! 2bd/1ba ~ 1159 SF ~ .25 ac ~ Silverton Valerie Boen 503-871-1667 MLS#770029
$464,900 Serene Spaces! 4bd/3ba ~ 2737 SF ~ .14 ac ~ Salem Valerie Boen 503-871-1667 MLS#768077
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119 N. WATER ST., SILVERTON, OR Give us a Call at 503-873-8600 or Visit nworg.com for more information FB: OurTown.SMASM
November 2020 • 9
Arts & entertainment
... is growing
Profitable Planning Inc., a health insurance agency in Silverton, founded by Lance D. Kamstra, has experienced some major changes this year! In an effort to better serve our clients, Profitable Planning has hired additional staff, established an experienced team of agents, and recently opened a new satellite office in the Hartman Building.
Podcast guest, writer-musician Allen Levi records an early episode of The Membership with hosts John Pattison, Jason Hardy and Tim Wasem. GINA HURRY
We specialize in Medicare Advantage Plans and Supplements, but also serve clients who are looking for Individual and Family plans, with or without tax credits, through the Federal Marketplace. Our agents are well-versed in all the plans offered in the area. We also offer various enhancement plans that fill gaps in coverage.
Podcast celebrates author Wendell Berry
Due to COVID, our office access, at both the main office and our new office at 214B S. Water St., is by appointment only. Our services are provided at no cost as the companies we represent pay us to help you. Please call us at 503-873-7727 to ask any questions about your current plan or to set an appointment to explore all the options available during open Barb Lance Michele enrollment. Besaw Kamstra Hall
By Melissa Wagoner In recent years, podcasts have become a wildly successful form of media and it’s not hard to see why. Unlike print, podcasts allow listeners to multitask. And the extraordinary diversity in creators, as well as their chosen topics, means there’s a podcast featuring just about any subject matter – and that includes writers like the prolific American novelist, essayist and poet Wendell Berry.
WHY IS HOMEWORK SUCH A STRUGGLE? WHY DOES MY CHILD AVOID READING?
“Berry is a writer, farmer, and activist in Henry County, Kentucky,” Silvertonian John Pattison explained. “He’s also my favorite writer.” “Favorite” so much that Pattison assigned himself the task of reading through Berry’s entire cannon – more than 40 books of poetry, fiction and essays – and then sharing them with the world through a podcast.
It might be a vision problem!
“I thought this would be a really fun podcast idea,” Pattison said, “but I also knew I wanted to do it with someone else. So, I got in touch with my friend Tim. Tim has experience hosting podcasts, and he’s a huge Berry fan.”
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Luckily, Tim Wasem, a high school English teacher, along with his friend Jason Hardy, also a teacher, writer, and musician, were similarly dedicated Berry fans and likewise inspired to share their Berry knowledge with the world. “I love books,” Pattison said. “I love reading them and talking about them. Doing this podcast has been a chance (and an excuse) to do more of that. Not only do I get to talk with two guys who love Berry’s writing as much as I do – and who are much smarter than me – but we’ve also been able to connect with other Berry fans from around the world. I’m a writer by nature and by profession. But
there’s something very intimate about podcasting. I experience that both as a podcaster and as an avid listener of podcasts.” The podcast Pattison and his co-creators established is called, The Membership, and airs every other week with episodes either taking an in-depth look at a piece of Berry’s writing or discussing how Berry’s literature has influenced the lives of people throughout the world. “This has given us a chance to chat with some incredible people,” Pattison said. “An Amish farmer, a Grammy Awardwinning record producer, a documentary filmmaker, and more. We even interviewed Wendell’s daughter, Mary, who runs The Berry Center, an important nonprofit advocating for farmers and strong local food economies.” While Pattison is unsure just how many subscribers listen to the podcast, he speculates The Membership’s method of sharing Berry’s works – through the podcasting – has contributed to its accessibility. “Podcasting allows us to hear from so many different people, and in such a personal way,” Pattison said. “For someone to produce an audio show we don’t have to go through the gatekeepers of traditional media anymore. We get to listen to brilliant and interesting people from all walks of life, talking about all kinds of things. And there really is something so special about hearing someone else’s voice in your headphones... “We hope The Membership helps people slow down. We hope it spurs conversations that contribute to the health of the land and the health of our communities.”
Sunflower School adapts to COVID-19 restrictions By Melissa Wagoner When Jillian Miller enrolled her two young sons in Sunflower School, she thought it was a perfect fit. In fact, Miller – a former K-3 elementary school teacher – liked it so much she wanted to work there herself. And so, when owner Ali Wigowsky sent out an email during the winter of 2020, letting parents know the next school year would be her last, Miller took it as a sign. “I sent her an email saying – what if, at the end of the year, I take over?” Miller recalled. An excited Wigowsky accepted the offer.
Timothy L Yount
“I was very much considering having her shadow me throughout my last year and move toward her taking the school on, and fulfill the position I had,” Wigowsky said. Then came the unexpected, a pandemic that forced schools, including Sunflower School, to close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. “I tried,” Wigowsky – who scrambled to pull together some semblance of schooling for her class – recalled. “I tried putting out the usual digital extras and ways to connect that a lot of teachers were doing at this time. I also sent snail mail out with notes and hands-on materials for home. Although, all these attempts would never even come close to my preschool.” Those stressful days, spent attempting to connect with her students digitally, took a toll on Wigowsky, making her question the viability of keeping Sunflower open through even for one more year. “I feel like the soul of the school would be lost on following the stricter protocols for safety,” Wigowsky explained. “I went into starting this school with having so much creative teaching energy and I felt COVID-19 put a stop to it in the classroom.” With those concerns in mind, Wigowsky contacted Miller with a new proposal – that she take over the school immediately. “I got an email saying, ‘I’ve been going over the COVID regulations, and I don’t want to do that again,’” Miller said. Without further ado, they made the transfer official in June. “I’m still getting all of my ducks in a row,” Miller laughed. Noting that, although the state’s COVID-19 safety requirements for schools are stringent, she is lucky in that Sunflower’s size, along with various attributes of the physical space, have made compliance a cinch.
Leah Wigowsky at Sunflower School.
COURTESY ALI WIGOWSKY.
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operation is small enough that we can take whatever they throw at me and we can stay open the whole year.” Open, but also unmasked – a primary concern for many parents of preschool-aged children whose learning is highly socially and emotionally based. “What I’ve been hearing is, ‘Does my child have to wear a mask?’” Miller said. “If it ends up that the teacher has to wear a mask, I’m going to get one of those face shields because at this age, they need to see your face.” Those few regulations aside, Miller hopes this year will be one of growth, learning and especially routine for her students – many of whom may have experienced turmoil due to the current pandemic. “I’m not taking any kind of political stance on COVID,” Miller stated. “I think COVID is serious but I think we should deal with it while giving kids the most normalcy.” Wigowsky is excited for what this year will bring and happy to see the school continue.
“What I’m seeing is parents are hesitant to get their kids back into something that might be shut down,” she said. Noting that, although the school’s maximum capacity is set at 10 students, enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is still far below that – at only five at time of this interview.
“She’s going to be great at her job and keep Sunflower School blossoming,” Wigowsky said. “I’m so thankful to her for being willing and capable of taking it on... There is a big need for good quality early learning programs in our area. Aside from the obvious developmental benefits preschool supports, a good quality preschool program also serves as a respite for families.
“I’m mentally prepared that we just might have a really small class,” she admitted. Adding, “I’m hoping my
“This will be much needed in these chaotic times, if it’s done in the way most safe for all.”
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Datebook Submission Information Get your events and fundraisers published in Our Town. If your ongoing event was cancelled because of COVID19 and is starting up again, please send a new listing. If you are meeting by Zoom or virtually, send those, too. Send your releases to email@example.com. Or drop them off at 401 Oak St., Silverton. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Minutes and agendas for all city-related meetings and information on how to participate in/view the meetings are available on each city’s website. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
7 p.m., Silverton Community Center, 421 S Water St. Open to public. 503-874-2207,
Wednesday, Nov. 11 Veterans Day Saturday
Silverton Winter Market, 10 a.m. - noon,
Silverton Friends Church, 229 Eureka Ave. Local produce, eggs, meats, artisan crafts. Free admission. Saturday Lunch, Noon - 1:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 500 N Second St., Silverton. Free. To-go lunch only. 503-873-2635, trinitysilverton.org
Lunaria Gallery Opening Noon - 5 p.m., Lunaria Gallery, 113 N Water St., Silverton. “We are Open,” art by Josh Kinsey and Helen Wiens in the Main Floor Gallery. “Something a Little Special” in the Loft Gallery. Wednesday - Sunday. 503-873-7734, lunariagallery.com
Scotts Mills City Council
Silverton Country Historical Society Museum, 1 - 4 p.m., 428 S Water St. Repeats
7 p.m., Scotts Mills City Hall, 265 Fourth St. Open to public. 503-873-5435
SACA Food Pantry, 9 a.m. - noon,
Super Soup Series
Mt. Angel Community & Senior Center Store, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., 195 E Charles St.
Mt. Angel School District offers free grab-ngo meals for children 1 - 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday - Friday at St. Mary’s Public School, 590 E College St., Mt. Angel. Delivery available. Register: masd91.org.
Weekly Events Monday
SACA, 421 S Water St., Silverton. Repeats 4 - 7 p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. - noon 9 a.m. - noon. 503-873-3446, silvertonareacommunityaid.org
Repeats Tues - Thurs, Sat. 503-845-6998 Mt. Angel Food Pantry, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Mt. Angel Community Center, 195 E Charles St. 503-845-6998 Silverton Senior Meals, 11:30 a.m. Delivery only. $3 donation suggested. Monday - Friday. Delivery: 503-873-6906. Mt. Angel Senior Meals, 11:30 a.m. Delivery only. $3 donation suggested. Repeats Thursdays. To schedule a delivery, call Ginger, 503-845-9464.
Silver Angels Foot Care, Silverton Senior
Center, 115 Westfield. 50 and older. Repeats Wednesday. Appt: 503-201-6461 Serenity Al-Anon Meeting, 5:30 p.m. Zoom meeting. Repeats 10 a.m. Saturdays. For Zoom link: Barbara K, 503-269-0952.
Mission Benedict Food Pantry, 1 - 3:45
p.m., St. Joseph Shelter, 925 S Main St., Mt. Angel. Repeats Friday. 503-845-2468 Mission of Hope Food Pantry, 2 - 4 p.m., Silver Creek Fellowship, 822 Industry Way, Silverton. Repeats 9 - 11 a.m. Saturday. 503-873-7353 Daniel Plan Journey Video Series, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Silver Creek Fellowship Church, 822 NE Industrial Way, Silverton. In-person or online at scf.tv/daniel.plan. Free. Open to public. Sheila, 503-409-4498
Zoom Storytime, 11:30 a.m. For children
aged 0 - 4. Sponsored by Silver Falls Library. 503-873-7633 for Zoom email. Mediation & Shared Dialog, 7 - 8:30 p.m. All spiritual traditions welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org.
12 • November 2020
Saturday and Sunday Nov. 8. 503-873-7070
Mt. Angel Free Meals
Silver Falls Free Meals
Free grab-n-go meals offered by Silver Falls School District to children age 1 - 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday - Friday at: Silverton High, 1456 Pine St.; Robert Frost Elementary, 201 Westfield St.; Butte Creek, 37569 Hwy. 213; Scotts Mills Elementary, 805 First St.; Silver Crest, 365 SE Loar Road; Victor Point, 1175 SE Victor Point Road. Visit silverfallsschool.org for information.
Sunday, Nov. 1 Daylight Saving Time Ends
Remember to set your clock 1 hour back.
Oregon Crafters Market
11 a.m. - 6 p.m., 215 N Water St., Silverton. Weekend outdoor market with handcrafted items, art, food, live music. Sunday, noon - 5 p.m. oregoncraftersmarket.com
March for Our Lives
2 - 4:30 p.m., Dollar Tree parking lot, 333 Westfield St., Silverton. Silverton Youth Movement, support for the oppressed.
Monday, Nov. 2 Silverton City Council
7 p.m., Silverton Community Center, 421 S Water St. Open to all. 503-873-5321
Mt. Angel City Council
7 p.m., Mount Angel Public Library. Open to public. 503-845-9291, ci.mt-angel.or.us
Tuesday, Nov. 3 Election Day
Dropoff your ballot off by 8 p.m. Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E Charles St., Silverton: Lewis Street parking lot, Lewis and South First street. Outside dropboxes.
Wednesday, Nov. 4
Thursday, Nov. 5 3 p.m., Zoom. Soup series with Kevin Cobb with Harcourt’s NW OregonRealty. Today: Curried zucchini soup. Nov. 12: Sweet potato, apple and leek soup. Nov. 29: Cauliflower and cider soup. Zoom links at silvertonseniorcenter. org, Email: email@example.com.
Friday, Nov. 6 Free Legal Consultation
9 a.m. - noon, Zoom. Legal consultation appointments with Michael Rose, attorney with Rose Elder Law. Zoom links at silvertonseniorcenter.org, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsored by Silverton Senior Center.
Lunch with Dodie
Noon, Zoom. Today: Special guest Michael Rose of Rose Elder Law. Nov. 13: Veterans services and support with Mel Bjerke of Davenport Place. Nov. 20: Carol Sheldon, director of Meals on Wheels Program through North West Senior & Disability Services. Zoom links at silvertonseniorcenter.org, Sponsored by Silverton Senior Center.
First Friday in Silverton
1 - 2:30 p.m. Offered through conference call. Ccntact Julie Mendez, 503-304-3432, email@example.com for instructions on how to participate. For caregivers 60” or caregivers 55+ caring for an adult 18+ living with a disability. Today’s topic is the gifts and sacrifices of caregiving.
Actors Improv Online
7 p.m., Zoom. Play improvisational games online. New, regular attendees welcome. For Zoom invite: Ron Drake, 503-873-8796.
Thursday, Nov. 12 United Health Care
1 - 3 p.m., Zoom. Set-up an appointment to speak with a United Healthcare representative. Sign-ups: 503-873-3093.
Pushing the Limits
7 p.m., Zoom. Important subjects facing society are addressed. This session is on plastic waste. Links to articles at www. silverfallslibrary.org/pushing-the-limits. Zoom invite: Ron Drake, 503-873-8796.
Saturday, Nov. 14 Willamette Master Chorus
3 p.m. YouTube. Annual Veterans concert. View online: willamettemasterchorus.org. Free. Repeats 3 p.m. Nov. 15.
Tuesday, Nov. 17 Red Cross Blood Drive
Noon - 5 p.m., Silverton Elks Lodge, 300 High St. appointments: Carolyn at 541619-7878, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthy Brain and Body
3 p.m., Zoom. Presented by the Alzheimer’s Association. Zoom links are available on the Website. Email: Dodie, dodiebrockamp@ gmail.com. Silverton Senior Center.
7 – 9 p.m. Explore the historic downtown, have dinner, shop, browse galleries, boutiques. 503-873-5615, silvertonchamber.org
Silver Falls Library Book Club
Monday, Nov. 9
Thursday, Nov. 19
Mt. Angel School District
6:30 p.m., District Office, 730 E Marquam St., Mt. Angel. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-845-2345, masd91.org
Silver Falls School District
7 p.m., Silverton Community Center, 421 S Water St. Agenda available. Open to all. 503-873-5303, silverfallsschools.org
Tuesday, Nov. 10 Red Cross Blood Drive
11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Silverton High School, 1456 Pine St. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.
7 p.m., Zoom. Discuss Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Discussion leader: Joe Blowers. All welcome. Zoom: 503-873-8796.
Library Writers Group
7 p.m., Zoom. Local writers share work, get inspired by what others are creating. All welcome. For Zoom invite: 503-873-8796.
Thursday, Nov. 26 Thanksgiving Monday, Nov. 30 Vigil for Peace
2:30 - 3:30 p.m., Towne Square Park, Silverton. Silverton People for Peace gather to advocate for peace, social justice issues including a focus on issues of current concern. Open to all. 503-873-5307
Palace Theatre to reopen – eventually
the community and many of its features – like the Palace Theatre, which they feel has an incredible amount of potential.
By Melissa Wagoner When Erik and Rachelle Gonterman found out the Palace Theatre was closing, they knew they could not just stand by and watch. And so, without any prior theater experience, they accepted the challenge.
“We plan to update and remodel certain aspects while keeping the charm that makes the Palace the Palace. An anchor in the community,” Rachelle wrote in a recent press release. “We intend to utilize the stage for more community events, expand the menu options with a kitchen. Update and upgrade the bathrooms. All things we feel must be done to make the Palace self-sufficient in a time when things are always changing with our current situation with COVID.”
“When it became apparent that the theater was going to need new operators, we decided we wanted to do that and take it in a more community-oriented direction,” Rachelle, who along with her husband, Erik, has been working as the building’s maintenance contractors for the past several years.
These plans, although lofty, initially seemed quite attainable to the Gontermans, who are accustomed to the work of both building and remodeling.
“The building itself needs repair and has been neglected for some time,” Rachelle added. “While it’s a wonderful, very vintage type building, it definitely needs some updating in basics – like the bathrooms.”
“Our original plan had been to be open weekends while we remodeled during the week,” Rachelle wrote.
Relocating to Silverton four years ago, the Gontermans have since fallen in love with
That’s when they discovered that much of
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evaluate exactly how to move forward.”
“At this point the projector is still in the building but we have been informed it’s been sold,” Rachelle stated, “so we need to buy it back or lease it.”
In the meantime, the couple is already hard at work, starting with the most menial tasks first.
With a ticket price of $7,000 to buy back the original screen, projector and sound system on top of nearly $10,000 for a new popcorn machine, the cost of opening the theater – not to mention renovating it – has become a serious issue, one the Gontermans never foresaw. “We intend to keep moving forward with our plans,” Rachelle said optimistically. “The equipment issues are of a course an unexpected hurdle but we have faith we will be able to buy or lease equipment from a cinema company. We intend to apply for some grants or loans to try and keep the Palace the Palace rather than Silverton not have a movie house. The costs of those things were not in our budget, so of course we now have to
“This week has been spent hauling trash out and trying to get an inventory of what is there – not much – what is operational – the soda machine – etc.,” Rachelle said. Adding, “We are not giving up, just [a] reassessment of the direction we can go and how fast.” Because ultimately, the Gontermans have hope that the Palace – which they plan to rename the Silverton Palace, reviving the original name from the 1930s – will one day be, not just back to its original glory, but better than ever before. “We feel the Palace itself, and Silverton community support, are a large portion of what will make this work,” Rachelle said. “Silverton is about community and we plan to take this in that direction.”
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Positive motion By Melissa Wagoner “Quarantine 15” and “pre-quarantine pants” are both terms that have been thrown around quite a lot since the pandemic began, closing gyms and making the baking of bread one America’s most popular pastimes. “In the beginning, I found myself slipping into unhealthy coping mechanisms,” Rita Horter, who has worked as a fitness instructor and holistic health coach for the past 14 years, admitted. “Turning to food, stress baking, drinking more than I normally do. I had to draw a hard line in the sand to take me back to a place that I felt better, more like myself again.”
Geting into healthy routines can brighten your mood
online in my virtual bootcamps,” she explained. She added that for those who have never tried a virtual exercise program, now is the perfect time to start. “It’s like having a world-class gym/studio at your fingertips. Classes have come a long way from the old VHS tapes I used to do growing up.” But exercise doesn’t have to mean joining a class and it doesn’t have to be indoors. Hiking, running and biking trails offer the opportunity to get outside and are a great way to start building back muscle.
For Horter, the key to recovery lay in joining a fitness team. Thankfully, continuing her usual workout with online classes, like yoga and kickboxing, was a cinch, as well as sharing with others.
“Start now,” Lainie Pyper, a Fitness Instructor at Anytime Fitness in Silverton for over five years, advised. “Just move. Maybe it’s going for a walk with a friend, glute squeezes while you’re doing dishes or heel raises while you’re watching TV. You don’t necessarily need to come back to the gym, just start moving.”
“I partner with Beachbody and use their online workout library and nutritional programs with the clients I work with
Starting is important – both for those whose fitness routines were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and for those who
have never established a routine in the first place. “I used to have this mentality – I’ll just wait until Monday,” Pyper recalled of her early in life struggles with fitness. “Then I just decided, that doesn’t work anymore.” Now Pyper, the mother of five, sees staying fit and healthy as more than one more chore. It’s who she is. “It’s become a way of life for me that I can’t live without,” she confessed. “It’s so hard for mothers to have their own identity as individuals and as themselves but here,” she motioned the gym around her, “I am Lainie.” That sense of belonging and of being a part of a like-minded community has been one of the things missing for many during this time of physical distancing and selfisolation. It can be an inhibiting factor to establishing a new, healthy routine. “Having people to do this with you and connect with you throughout the process
gives an extra layer of accountability,” Horter explained. “Just like raising a baby... it takes a village!” That is one of the aspects of building a fitness regimen that gyms are adept at. Personal trainers, fitness coaches and mentors, as well as other participants, often work together to cheer each other on. Gyms open with social distance and mask requirements can once once again be an option. But with infection rates still on the rise, some are steering clear. “When you’re ready to come back, we welcome you,” Pyper, who is currently leading virtual workouts through the Anytime Fitness website each week, said. Another helpful tactic can be making fitness a family-wide mission. “Lead by example,” Pyper said. Adding, “There’s so many things you can do together around food, health and fitness. I just love hiking, walking and being outside with my kids. Throw a ball, a frisbee or shoot hoops. Anything kids would want
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to do.” When the weather makes getting outside difficult, exercising as a family can still be fun, according to Horter who said dance is one of the best ways she has found to get her kids to move. “I love turning on a song and creating a dance fitness routine on the fly while the kids do the same,” she said. She added that there are also several kid-friendly, online exercise platforms as well. “From my son’s teacher’s suggestion, we›ve done PE with Joe on YouTube and loved it. Cosmic Kids Yoga is another fun one.” But while exercising is a start, true health combines both movement and a nutritious diet. That’s another aspect of life that has been affected, for many, simply by a lack of routine. “So much of what you eat is a part of your routine,” Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Gabrielle Smith said. “Everything dictates what you eat.”
Small steps on the road to healthy habits • Be kind to yourself – replace negative self-talk with affirmations.
• Mitigate stress by practicing mindfulness, meditation or yoga.
• Involve the whole family – lead by example.
• Establish an accountability buddy. • Change one thing at a time.
• Utilize online fitness resources – YouTube, Instagram and many local gyms hold live classes.
• Instead of elimination, focus on adding in what’s healthy.
• Limit sugar and processed carbohydrates.
• Keep a food journal.
• Meal prep and plan ahead.
• Don’t expect overnight results.
• Keep track of goals using a calendar. Which is why, keeping a daily food journal, in order to determine exactly where unhealthy habits have crept in, can be helpful place to begin. “I feel like I would probably start by looking at how different their diet is now,” Smith said. “Then, identify or pinpoint exactly what those behaviors are and adjust
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Horter agrees with this step-by step approach, suggesting, “Take out one thing. Maybe that’s nightly drinking. Or your pre-bedtime ice cream.” Then begin adding healthy items in, such as fresh fruits and vegetables as well as
“It’s amazing what eating the right foods does for your mood and outlook,” Horter noted. She added that in order to stick with any healthy eating routine planning can be a huge help. “Meal prep,” she said simply. “And plan. I’ve struggled with trying not to grocery shop as frequently so that means I’ve really had to plan my meals in advance. It takes a little more work on the front-end but makes things so much easier and less stressful the rest of the week. I usually plan/prep up to three days in advance but I know people who love doing it for a week at a time.” When building all of these systems and routines – whether it be for exercise or nutrition – the main goal should always be longevity. “We should change our thinking to be long-term,” Pyper said, “For life. And then enjoy the journey.”
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State Voter Protection Hotline open to answer urgent election questions What if my signature doesn’t match the one on file with elections officials? How do I report suspected voter fraud? Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants Oregonians to know they can call the Attorney General’s Voter Protection Hotline at 971-673-4111 with nonemergency questions and concerns. “Voting by mail in Oregon is easy, secure, and resistant to fraud,” Rosenblum said. “That said, there are reports of
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misinformation around this year’s election, and voters may have urgent questions. I want Oregonians to know they can call our hotline and get a pretty quick call back. “Oregonians of all parties are justifiably proud of our elections system,” she said. “That’s due in no small part to our County Clerks and elections staff in all 36 counties who provide a high level of service to voters and ensure that ballots are processed and counted with a high degree of security and
transparency.” Since its launch on Oct. 13, the Voter Protection Hotline has logged more than 90 calls, many from voters worried that their ballots had not yet arrived. By now, all voters registered in Oregon should have received a ballot at the address on file with their voter registration. Voters can check registration online at the Secretary of State’s website and contact their county elections office for a replacement ballot, if necessary.
Now voters should use an official ballot drop box to sumbit their ballot. There is no longer enough time to ensure a mailed ballor will be in the election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov 3. There is a 24 hour dropbox in the Silverton parking lot at Lewis and First, and one at the Mt. Angel Public Library, 290 E. Charles St. which is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day.
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In the right hands By Melissa Wagoner When the wind-whipped Beachie Creek Fire devastated the communities near Linda Webb’s Silverton home over Labor Day, she knew she wanted to help. “My husband was a carpenter and he had a lot of tools,” she said of the collection amassed by her late husband, Jim, who spent his career working as a contractor and craftsman. “My boys took some of them,” she continued. “And I had offered them to many people.” But her garage was still full. So, she wrote a simple Facebook post offering what she had – sheetrock finishing tools, painting supplies, extension cords and construction lights – to those who needed it most. What she got back was an outpouring of need, more than she could possibly fulfill. That’s when she had an idea. She would create a tool drive in Jim’s honor. “I was not able to have a funeral for my husband because of COVID,” Webb said of her husband’s passing on March 6 from bone cancer. “So, this was a memorial to him.” Donations flooded in, eventually filling three 15-foot vans with tools of all kinds.
Tool drive provides help for fire-hit community
“I said – these are just gifts from the heart,” she said of those early Facebook posts. “It’s singular-focused. It’s giving a hand-up. And that’s what my husband liked. He called it – keeping things in proper exchange.” The tools, which Webb eventually delivered to a woman in Gates who was distributing items to those who are working to rebuild, have not only provided what she hoped – some closure after the death of her husband of 33 years – but also a way for others to help as well. “The thing I got from it is how nice people are,” she said. “I’ve had widows give me their husband’s tools. And when I said on my Facebook page, ‘They need wheelbarrows,’ I woke up and there were three. It’s amazing what people are capable of.” Though the project – which grew far bigger and more quickly than Webb could have imagined – has come to a close, Webb thinks Jim would have been pleased with the memorial she created. “He would have given me a hard time because everything I do I do it to the nth degree,” she laughed, recalling the sheer volume of building supplies she raised in only a handful of days. “But he would have been all about it. He would have been cataloging everything.”
The tool drive for Santiam Wildfire victims started with Jim Webb’s tools and became a movement in his memory. COURTESY LINDA WEBB
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November 2020 • 17
Operation: Big cat rescue By Melissa Wagoner “I’ve moved a lot of off-the-wall things,” Eric Tremble, owner of the Two Men and a Truck franchise in Beaverton, told Our Town. “But no, we typically do not move live animals of any sort. Mostly we specialize in residential, home-to-home moves or business moves. That’s really what we specialize in.” But on Sept. 8, after discovering that wildfires were raging across the state, Tremble put out a public notice offering his services and his trucks to help the affected communities wherever there was a need. The request he received caught him off guard. “We got an email one day through one of our community contacts,” Tremble began. “We thought it was small cats. Then, as we got more into it, it was moving large cats – really large cats.” The request came from a board member of a little-known, “last hope,” nonprofit sanctuary outside of Scotts Mills called the Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary. It was an appeal to help move 14 enormous cats. “I didn’t know they existed honestly,” Tremble said of that first interaction. And he’s not the only one, in fact, that anonymity is by design. “That’s exactly how we like it,” Ian Ford, executive assistant and son of co-founder Cheryl Tuller, said when asked about the sanctuary’s reclusive status. “As a true sanctuary, we are not open to the public and we consider ourselves a retirement home for captive-born and exploited animals. Our mission is to provide them with as close to a ‘natural’ environment as possible where they can live out their life in peace and comfort.” Starting unofficially in 1996 with the adoption of a “hybrid bobcat kitten” named Bobo, the Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary
Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary
A nonprofit, providing a safe home for captive-born wild cats. Donate at wildcatridgesanctuary.org before Dec. 31 and your gift will be doubled. currently cares for 50 wild and hybrid cats, two of whom – lions Chobe and Kariba – are on rescue from Joe Exotic. “[I]t’s kind of a long story,” Ford said when asked how the sanctuary ended up with the two famous cats, “but the short version is that they were given away by Joe to a gentleman that was at his facility rescuing wolves. From there, they went to Wildlife Waystation where they got the medical attention they needed. That facility didn’t have the room to give the girls the space they needed so we were contacted and immediately said we would love to help. Watch the Animal Planet special Surviving Joe Exotic for additional details.” Under normal circumstances, caring for so many large animals is a big job. “Our property is roughly 80 acres and we try to make sure that the enclosures are much larger than required by law to ensure that our residents have room to relax,” Ford stated. “Our keepers spend about four hours every morning preparing individual diets for all of the residents,” he added. But add a wildfire to the mix and the job gets incredibly complicated. “The morning of [Sept.] 8th is when we got the evacuation order,” Ford recalled. Having had some inkling of the state of things to come, the sanctuary’s team waw already hard at work, gathering crates, rounding up the smaller cats and loading them onto a transport trailer and into every vehicle
Nora, the white Bengal tiger in a crate. COURTESY OF WILDCAT RIDGE SANCTUARY
they had access to. “I was on my way to the sanctuary from Sherwood and arrived in time to help drive one of the larger vehicles to a volunteer’s property near Molalla,” Ford said of the animals initial removal. “After unloading the first batch, we all went back to the property along with several volunteers that had reached out and loaded up all the rest of the smaller residents. We had probably 15 cars/trucks and they were all packed with crates and carriers.” Then, when the fire began to shift again, this time threatening the animals’ temporary home in Molalla, yet another evacuation became necessary. With volunteers
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14 big cats transported out of fire evacuation zone loading carriers into vehicles all over again. Twice. Finally, after one very long day, the cats came to rest on a large farm in McMinnville, far enough from the danger of fire. But even then, they knew they couldn’t keep them there for the duration – especially not the largest ones. “The bigs arrived in McMinnville on Wednesday evening, [Sept. 9],” Ford recalled. “Everyone was in a crate and/or a transport container, which isn’t something that they can just stay in for a lengthy period of time. Though we had space at the farm, we didn’t really have adequate resources to take care of the big guys. “Fortunately, we have a great relationship with the folks down at Wildlife Safari in Winston and they reached out to let us know that they could house and care for our tigers, lions, cheetahs and cougars while we were evacuated. We just had to get them down there...” That is where Tremble, two transport trucks and one brand-new employee stepped in to help. “I was like, ‘Are you scared of big cats – like lions and tigers?’” Tremble laughingly recalled of that initial conversation with his new hire. “That was his introduction on the first day.” And the day turned into a busy one, beginning with the loading and transportation of two lions, five tigers, two
cheetahs and five cougars to Winston – three hours away.
onsite in a shipping container should the need to evacuate arise once again.
“You’re within inches of the animals,” Tremble acknowledged. Adding that while some of them appeared to be quite docile – a white Bengal tiger named Nora among them – others were obviously less than happy about the move.
“Our location means that we’re potentially always going to at least have some risk for a fire,” Ford admitted. “Should this kind of thing happen again, we can immediately start getting the kennels loaded and have a team of volunteers take them to a rendezvous location to start setting them up while another group can crate and transport the cats. We can also utilize Wildlife Safari for our bigs if necessary.”
“It’s not the same as when you’re in the zoo or anything,” Tremble described. “(I) have some recordings of the noises cheetahs make – you don’t hear that every day. One cheetah, her name was Ariel, she scared the ($##!) out of me a few times when I walked between her cage and the other cages. She just wasn’t too happy.”
For now, Ford is just thankful that the Beachie Creek Fire – which he estimates came to within a mile of the sanctuary’s land – largely passed them by and that the majority of the animals have already returned home.
Which is understandable for animals who are not used to being confined.
A Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary “As part of the evacuation process and the cheetah. COURTESY ERIC TREMBLE “We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of ‘pop-up sanctuary’ we put together, we had love and help from our community of staff, to purchase about 50 large dog kennels so volunteers and supporters,” Ford said. “Seeing so many that the littles didn’t have to live in a transport carrier for people come together and do so much to help our rescues weeks on end,” Ford said. was truly amazing and we will never be able to adequately Those purchases will be part of a new emergency kit kept thank everyone that helped.”
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She is survived by her son John (Melinda); daughter Debbie (Oscar); five grandchildren, Shiree, Joe, Bo, Nick and Wyatt; her sister Dorothy and many nieces and nephews. Per Norma’s request, there will not be a public service. Assisting the family is Unger Funeral Chapel, Silverton.
July 24, 1956 – Oct. 19, 2020 Linda Louise Foote from Silverton, Oregon died on Oct. 19, 2020, at the age of 64.
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Linda was born on July 24, 1956 in Laramie, Wyoming. She fondly remembered her childhood there spending time on her grandfather Norman Strom’s ranch, on the east side of Sheep Mountain. Her parents, Dave and Wilma Park, later moved the family to Umatilla, Oregon. As an adult, she found her way to Olympia, Washington. There she met her husband, Steve Foote. They were married for 37 years.
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Norma married LaVern (Vern) Hessel in 1965. They were married 50 years before he passed in 2015. They raised their two children in Mulino before moving to Vern’s family home in Silverton in the early 1990s.
be spotted working in her flowerbeds or mowing her expansive lawn. Norma loved bright flowers, especially daffodils, and her yard was full of them every spring. She also enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino with her best friend.
Linda Louise Foote
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Norma Hessel passed away Sept. 29 in Silverton at the age of 77 years.
Norma worked at a doctor’s office in her early career, and then as a real estate agent as well as for the Mulino Water District. She enjoyed doing upholstery work in her spare time, and helped her husband and son finish the interior of several antique cars. She was not one to sit idle and could often
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Norma Joan Hessel
June 18, 1943 – Sept. 29, 2020
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Linda worked for many years as an administrative assistant for the Washington Department of Education, Salem-Keizer School District, and Silverton Hospital. She went on to finish her drafting degree at Chemeketa Community College where she also served on the department advisory
board. She worked for WH Pacific in Salem, Oregon for 19 years doing drafting, surveying, and administrative support before retiring earlier this year. Linda was an avid sewer and crafter. She was an active member in the Willamette Valley Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. She also taught sewing classes for several years. Her purple and yellow painted craft room was full of love and projects. Linda will be loved and missed by her husband, Steve; sons, Jason and Derek; and several grandchildren. Linda is predeceased by both of her parents. At Linda’s request, no services will be held and her ashes will be spread in the mountains. In lieu of flowers, Linda requested contributions be made to Willamette Valley Hospice or the American Cancer Society.
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Patricia Ann Craig Feb. 17, 1941 – Oct. 10, 2020 In the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 10, Patricia Ann Craig passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. Patricia (Pat) was born on Feb. 17, 1941 in Seminole, Oklahoma, and moved to Oregon as an adolescent, where she was part of the first graduating class of North Eugene High School. While working as an attendant on a traveling bus route, she met a handsome driver named Eddie Dean Craig; Patricia would sit on the steps next to Eddie and talk any chance she could, and the two quickly fell in love. In the Spring of 1963, Eddie and Pat became husband and wife, and later that year they welcomed their first son, Dean. Over the next several years, their family grew as they were blessed with a daughter, Rozanne, and another son, Chris. After living in the Portland area, they moved their family to the Mount Angel area in 1976, where they built a loving community of friends and family. It is here where they spent their fondest years passing time at Tiny’s Tavern; playing Dominoes and Cribbage around the kitchen table; watching the local softball league play at Ebner Park; participating in the annual Christmas caroling hayride; attending the Oktoberfest; and enjoying large family gatherings. The thing that Patricia valued most in life
was her family – particularly their work ethic, strong bond, and the love they had for each other. She had an unwavering support for her loved ones and was constantly helping them see their own potential, even when they didn’t. Anyone who visited with Pat left feeling better about themselves and truly loved. Pat took pride in never forgetting someone’s birthday and always made sure to make them feel special. Pat had a knack for making a person feel as though they were the most important person in the room, and never let anyone leave her home without receiving one of her patented hugs. Pat’s love and support led her to be referred to as simply “Granny” even by those who weren’t her family, and her genuine warmth and support made her little corner of the world a happier place. Patricia was preceded in death by her husband Eddie, mother Mary, brother Bill, and daughter-in-law Susan. She is survived by her children Dean (Jodi), Rozanne and Chris, 10 grandchildren, and nine greatgrandchildren.
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In Memory Of …
An intimate service was held at Calvary Cemetery in Mount Angel to honor and celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks that you honor her memory by enjoying a family meal at the table of chicken and dumplings.
Submissions welcomed: Our Town appreciates the opportuity to share life’s Passages with our readers. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Virgil J. Voth
May 26, 1963 — Oct. 6, 2020
Sept. 22, 1961 — Oct. 8, 2020
Dec. 12, 1926 — Oct. 8, 2020
June 15, 1963 — Oct. 10, 2020
Feb. 17, 1941 — Oct. 10, 2020
May 20, 1942 — Oct. 13, 2020
May 16, 1925 — Oct. 15, 2020
May 29, 1929 — Oct. 17, 2020
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229 Mill St. • Silverton 503-873-5141 November 2020 • 21
A Grin at the End
Sphere of influence
Knowing what you can control example, I have zero control over COVID19, politics, or even my Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s about those masks. Occasionally, I get an earful from friends and others about how the requirement that we wear a mask when buying ice cream and soda pop at the grocery store in some way infringes on the constitutional rights of all Americans. At the same time, I have endured multiple lectures from my kids and others about how and why I need to wear a mask. One wonders how they all became experts in constitutional law and public health over the past eight months. After much thought, I have decided that a mask is a Pot 1 item. That means I wear a mask when I’m at the store or in tight quarters because I can’t control other people, but I can control me.
Minnesota. It goes like this. Everything in the world can be put into one of three pots. Pot 1 includes everything that I have direct control over. This is a tiny pot. Basically, it includes only me, myself and I.
Pot 2 includes everything over which I have some influence. While this pot is larger than the first, it is still small and getting smaller. It used to be that I had some influence over the kids, but that ship has sailed.
Anyone who has been around me more than ten minutes knows my Three Pot Theory. I learned it from a boss I had in
Pot 3 includes everything over which I have no influence. This pot is huge and includes everything else on the planet. For
What happens to any and all items in Pot 3 is completely out of my hands, and thank goodness for that. COVID-19 has screwed up everything, politics have spiraled into Crazyland, and the Eagles couldn’t beat my junior high school’s football team. I thought about this and made a decision. I can fuss about things over which I have no control, or I can spend my time on Pot 1 – me – which I directly control. This gets me back to masks. Last November I came down with the worst cough I’ve ever had when we were on vacation in Italy. In medical terms, it was a butt-kicker, and I was out of work for two weeks. At one point, I coughed so hard I dropped to my knees. I doubt it was COVID-19 because of the timing, but believe me, I do not want to deal with anything like that again. Plus, I am in the age range that puts a bulls-eye
on my back for COVID-19 and a lot of other illnesses. That’s why I’m happy to wear mask at the grocery store, church and anywhere I’m in close quarters with others. Whether this in some way impacts my constitutional rights, I can’t say. I do know that cough I had last year infringed on all kinds of rights, including my right to a good night’s sleep. But wearing a mask has not stopped the lectures from my kids and others on the radio and television. “You don’t understand,” they say. In point of fact, I do understand, probably better than they ever will, but they will not stop the lecturing. I have only one suggestion: They should hand out earplugs with every mask. That way I wouldn’t have to listen to the prattle on both sides of the issue. Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in Stayton.
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The Silverton Fire District Volunteers and Staff are Dedicated to Serving the Communities of Silverton and Scotts Mills and we are humbled and proud that these Communities have Served Us in our time of need. During the wildfire events, our tight knit communities and outside communities came together during a time of duress. Contractors volunteered to put in bulldozer roads, farmers donated their water tankers, businesses contributed resources, citizens prepared meals for first responders and donated time and countless supplies for one common goal… to keep our friends, family and neighbors safe from harm. Every day we see the appreciation and unity of our community as we drive through town admiring posters and yard signs, acknowledging social media, and the sincere gratitude expressed during conversations with members of the public. From the Silverton Fire District Volunteers, Staff and Board of Directors to the people and businesses of Silverton and Scotts Mills, to our communities near and far… thank you for your selfless and charitable hearts and coming to our aid!
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November 2020 • 23
Kirsten Barnes Broker 873-3545 ext. 326
Marcia Branstetter Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 318
Micha Christman Office Manager 873-1425
Whitney Ulven Broker 503-873-3545 ext. 320
Mike Ulven Broker 503-873-3545 ext. 312
Chuck White Broker 873-3545 ext. 325
Meredith Wertz Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 324
Ryan Wertz Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 322
Mason Branstetter Principal Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 303
Please welcome our newest agent... Becky Craig Principal Broker, GRI 873-3545 ext. 313
Sarah Graves Office Manager 873-3545 ext. 300
Michael Schmidt Principal Broker GRI 873-3545 ext. 314
#T2613 NEW CONSTRUCTION $350,000 New Construction Completed
Oct. 2020. Located on the north side of Silverton. Home will have minimal steps and be handicap accessible. Granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Gas FP in vaulted Great Rm. Oversized closet in bedroom suite. Nice covered deck overlooking big backyard. Fenced on two sides. Large garage w/ workshop space. Side of garage has room for RV / trailer. No CCR’s. No HOA. Call Michael at ext. 314 (WVMLS#767324)
Sheila Sitzman, Broker 873-3545 ext. 302
#T2611 11.68 ACRES $625,000 11.68 acres with manufactured home, well, septic, and timber. Property has become overgrown and needs a buyer willing to role up their sleeves and do some work. Key in lockbox for gate lock to enter. Park vehicles at gate entrance and walk down driveway to MH. MH is of no value and unsafe to enter. Call listing broker for more information. Call Chuck at ext . 325
#T2616 PARK LIKE SETTING $485,000 Great condition on this 3 BR,
2.5.BA, 2295sqft home built in 2004. The home has an open floor plan with a covered patio and is located on a quiet / low traffic street. Vaulted Great Rm w/ gas fireplace. Maple hardwood flooring, granite tile counter tops, large bedroom suite, sprinkler system front and back, are just a few of the features of this home. New roof Aug. 2020. Short distance from downtown. Call Michael at ext. 314 (WVMLS# 768073)
SOLD! – #T2614 HOME & SHOP ON CREEK 3 BR, 2 BA 2185 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $524,900 (WVMLS#767323)
NEW! – #T2613 NEW CONSTRUCTION
#T2594 WONDERFUL NEW SUBDIVISION .18 Acres Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 $159,500
SOLD! – #T2618 CUSTOM ABIQUA HEIGHTS 4 BR, 2.5 BA 2538 sqft Call Kirsten at ext. 326 $529,900 (WVMLS#768003)
NEW! – #T2623 CENTURY OLD 3 BR,
1 BA 1568 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $375,000 (WVMLS#769808)
#T2616 PARK LIKE SETTING 3 BR, 2.5 BA 2295 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $485,000
SOLD! – #T2621 ROOM FOR EVERYONE 5 BR, 2.5 BA 2774 sqft Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 $497,700 (WVMLS#768412)
CREEK FRONTAGE DOWNTOWN SILVERTON! 100+ feet of Silver Creek frontage. Large and level lot. Very few bareland, buildable, residential lots in Silverton along the creek. Call Michael at ext. 314 (WVMLS#767651)
#T2615 CREEK FRONTAGE $215,000
3 BR, 2 BA 1183 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $350,000 (WVMLS#767324)
#T2611 11.68 ACRES Call Chuck at ext. 325 $625,000 (WVMLS#766171)
#T2611 11.68 ACRES 11.68 Acres Call Chuck at ext. 325 $625,000 (WVMLS#766171)
SILVERTON-T2615 CREEK FRONTAGE .37 Acres Call Michael at ext. 314 $215,000 (WVMLS#767651)
SOLD! – #T2614 HOME & SHOP ON CREEK 3 BR, 2 BA 2185 sqft Call Michael at ext. 314 $524,900 (WVMLS#767323)
SALEM/KEIZER SOLD! – #T2619 SINGLE LEVEL HOME 3 BR, 2 BA 1523 sqft. Keizer. Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 $356,000 (WVMLS#768156) PENDING – #T2620 GREAT KEIZER
LOCATION 3 BR, 2.5 BA 1716 sqft Call Meredith at ext. 324, Ryan at ext. 322 $347,700 (WVMLS#768160)
AUMSVILLE NEW! – #T2624 BEAUTIFUL DOUBLE
WIDE 3 BR, 2 BA 1512 sqft Call Becky at ext. 313 $121,900 (WVMLS#769635)
For rental properties call Micha or Sarah at 503-873-1425 or check our website
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24 • November 2020
Community news serving Silverton, Mount Angel and Scotts Mills.