__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

Food & Drink

Helping Hands

Meal planning takes some stress off the budget – Page 12

Vol. 18 No. 1

High schools make Christmas wishes come true – Page 6

COMMUNITY NEWS

Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama

January 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations begin – Page 4 Our Town 2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton, Or 97383

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Sports & Recreation

Football enters waiting game for Winter start – Page 11


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2 • January 2021

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Contents

9 © FAMVELDMAN / 123RF.COM

Update

Dining Out..............................10

Hospital begins COVID vaccinations.......4

Sports & Recreation

Helping Hands

Wait-and-see game for football............ 11

SHS, Regis make wish lists come true.....6

Food & Drink

Datebook................................. 8

Advantages of meal planning............... 12

School Scrapbook

A Grin At The End...........22 Marketplace.......................22

NSSD offers Preschool Promise .............9

Chemeketa Community College is here for you. STAY SAFE. You can choose between remote or online classes for Winter term! Select in-person classes will follow strict safety protocols.

STAY LOCAL. Our remote classes will allow you to participate in live, scheduled class lectures and meetings from anywhere.

On the Cover Matt Riordan with the Stayton Fire District gets the COVID-19 vacine at Santiam Hospital KELLY JAMES

STAY FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE. We’re offering free computer checkouts, free Wi-Fi zones, online tutoring, and affordable textbook options to help you stay on track and earn your degree or certificate.

Kathleen’s Pet Grooming Professional Pet Groomer

Skin & Coat Care Specialist for Your Pet Hair Cuts Sensitive & Medicated Baths

Pawdicure (Nail Trims) Teeth Brushing

Flea Funerals

Blueberry Facials

Pet Massage Call for appointment:

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kathleenspetgrooming@yahoo.com Order pet medications online: www.kathleenspetgrooming.com

Jesse’s Lawn Service H a n dy m a n Pruning • Edging • Trimming Blackberry Clearing

Gutter Cleaning • arborvitae moss Treatment

yard Clean-Up • Haul-away

Cell: 503-871-7869 Facebook: Our Town / Santiam

2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton, OR 97383 503-769-9525 ourtown@mtangelpub.com www.ourtownlive.com

Winter term starts Jan. 4! Apply now at go.chemeketa.edu/apply

The deadline for placing an ad in the Feb. 1 issue is Jan. 20.

Calendar listings are free for community events. Submissions must include date, time, location and cost. Submissions for the Feb. 1 issue are due Jan. 20. Email calendar items to: datebook@mtangelpub.com Our Town is mailed free to residents and businesses in the 97383, 97385, 97358 and 97325 zip codes. Subscriptions outside the area are $36 annually. Thank you for spending time with Our Town. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

EO/AA/ADA/Title IX institution

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January 2021 • 3


Update

Shot in the arm Santiam Hospital in Stayton has begun vaccinating staff members against COVID-19 and will be the first organization in Marion County to distribute the vaccine to essential workers and first-responders. On Dec. 22 Santiam Hospital received 3,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine and began inoculating staff members with direct patient contact the next day, said Lauren Benjamin, marketing coordinator for the hospital. Dec. 28 the hospital began administering the vaccine to employees of Life Flight and Falck Ambulance. “We are excited to be the first in Marion County to start offering vaccinations to the essential workers and firstresponders on the frontlines,” Benjamin added. She said the Santiam Hospital elected to be an “open point of distribution” for the COVID-19 vaccine, “which means that we have elected to vaccinate those who are eligible who are not employed by Santiam Hospital.” Organizations such as Marion County police and fire agencies have made appointments for their employees to receive the vaccine. “We’re the only open Point of Distribution in Region 2 (Marion, Polk, Linn, Benton, and Yamhill Counties),” explained Chris Grinstead, Santiam Hospital Contracting and Reimbursement Manager.

Santiam Hospital becomes regional vaccination center “We took it upon ourselves to have our chief medical officer, Steve Vets, do reach out directly to all local EMS, police departments, and fire departments. We provided a link to a HIPAA compliant pre-registration page where personal and employer information is entered. We then email those people another link that allows them to choose a 5-minute testing window,” he said, adding, “All eligibility checks are done at the employer level of the first responder agency.”

availability based on what we’re seeing right now,” he noted. “That is great news as we continue to follow the OHA vaccination sequencing, where more may be available as we get towards vaccinating the public at large. We do anticipate those being made available in the coming weeks.” State guidelines on the vaccination program call for the highest priority to go to front-line health care workers and support staff, emergency medical service providers and residents and workers in long term and communal care settings.

The Moderna vaccine, which is administered via injection, requires two shots. The second dose is designed to be administered 28 days after the first. “We’re currently doing about 100 doses per day at our hospital, so we anticipate current supplies lasting just over a month,” Grinstead said.

Health care providers in outpatient and non-front-line capacity would follow closely behind, state officials said. By Our Town press time Dec. 29, about 160 of the staff of 480 reportedly had received the shot. With the first round expected to continue into January.

“We are monitoring the State’s system for vaccine distribution on additional dose availability, as we’ve been guaranteed that this initial allotment of 3600 was for the first dose of a two-dose series.

“Santiam Hospital has a couple of methods to remind people of the second dose. We give out materials to enroll in VSAFE, which is the CDC smart phone tool that reminds people about the second dose, as well as have the person sign up for the second dose time slot at the time of first vaccination,” Grinstead explained.

“As has been noted around the United States, we also have experienced that there are more doses per vaccine vial than expected,” he added. “Each vial of Moderna vaccine is stated to have 10 doses. We have been experiencing between 11-12 doses per vial, so we could have an additional 10-20 percent vaccine

“We hope this keeps everyone on schedule.”

Hours

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New Year cheer By Mary Owen As we edge into the new year, reaching out to neighbors in small ways is helping to turn gloom into bloom. Perhaps the most memorable for many was the Dec. 21 appearance of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. “A sign of hope from above for brighter days!” said Irene Jackson in Stayton Community Connections. But there were little gifts that brought smiles and warm, feelings too. Regina Blocker was treated to her drink by the person behind her at McDonald’s, and Kathy May Givens was treated for her meal at the same fast-food restaurant. Kassie Hall was paid forward for her and her kids’ drinks at Cuppa Joe. “To the woman in the white car who was in front of me at Daily Buzz, thank you!” said Jaz Dowse in Stayton Community Connections. “I kept it going and paid for the person behind me.” Eva Brophy thanked a lady who bought candy for Bi-Mart cashiers to hand out. “I want to tell you, many people left with a smile on their face today,” she said. Phyllis Martin gave away two pair of new boy’s flannel pajama bottoms. Brandi Hafner-Freres picked up a young, pregnant homeless girl walking along Cascade Highway in the rain just before Christmas to help her find shelter. Brouke Ammon thanked “the person who owns that beautiful home on the corner of Evergreen and Ida. Your decorations are wonderful. Brings a smile to my face when I drive past there.”

Taliah Gilchrist let folks know that because of COVID restrictions her goddaughter had no friends available to help celebrate her third birthday. Several folks made Stoney Daniels’ day better with good wishes. When Jeffrey Soura recently contracted COVID-19, he quarantined for a month and two weeks so as not pass the virus to others. He still wears a mask to help ease the anxiety of people around him. “People just need to be empathetic of other people,” he said. “All the stuff we need to do to keep COVID at bay we learned in kindergarten – washing our hands, staying home when ill.” For a better new year, Soura plans to embrace “more love, more Jesus, and ignoring hateful people.”

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Steve and Nadine Montoya can’t forget the past – jobs, deaths, drugs, riots and crime. Steve was seriously injured last year when a young man punched him in the face without provocation. The Montoyas are grateful to put the incident behind them. “We have to leave everything in God’s hands, especially what’s happening to our country and to the world. We’ll watch and wait to see if the shots will help give us and everyone some kind of normal again.”

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The Montoyas concur that wearing masks will likely be everyone’s “new normal” and that 2021 will be taking everyone into an era of change needing “lots and lots of prayers.” And people are still paying it forward and helping each other in other ways. “Shocked and surprised!” Kandi Judy recently said. “While looking for a place to eat, stopped by the Spud Bus. Not only is the food hot and delish, our meal was paid for! Thank you, and we did the same.”

Did you know... in November of 2020, there were 19 residential home sales under ½ acre in Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama. That is an increase of 19% from November 2019! The sold price per square foot of those 19 homes was $233 which is a 20% increase from November 2019! Let Whitney and Mike Ulven of Silverton Realty lead you on your journey home!

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January 2021 • 5


Helping Hands

Wish list

High schools help make Christmas a little brighter for neighbors

By Mary Owen With so many Santiam Canyon families reeling from this year’s challenges, Stayton and Regis high schools joined together to host a combined Holiday Share from Dec. 2 to Dec. 16. “We had families in need from our school anonymously request gift items, and then we organized these items into an online wish list,” said Mya Joyce, SHS associate student body president, who kickstarted and organized the event. “People could either purchase directly from the Amazon wish list and have the items shipped directly to us, or they could use the list as a guide for local shopping, to support small businesses if they wished. “We also accepted items at the Regis main office, taking not only gift items, but non-perishable food, new toys, new clothes which are being distributed to families that can use the donated items,” she added. “Additionally, we were so surprised and grateful to receive generous monetary donations from businesses in the community, which we put towards filling any remaining requests.” The Holiday Share was open to anyone in the community to participate, she said. “We advertised it everywhere we could think of!” she added. “We were so thankful for the help in that sense from the North Santiam School District, Stayton Boosters, and of course, our very own high school pages.” In a typical year, Joyce said students held an annual Food Drive, along with an event called the Giving Tree. “Through the food drive, our school is one of the largest contributors to our local food bank,” Joyce said. “The

6 • January 2021

Giving Tree is where families at our school anonymously submit requests for gifts that will help them out during the holidays. Unfortunately, neither of these events were possible, in the manner that we are used to, this year. We decided to combine the events and partner with Regis High School to still try and support our community during the holidays. “We had to completely invent the event, essentially starting from scratch,” she added. “We had gifts mailed to us or dropped off in a contactless manner to accommodate for the COVID challenge.” Joyce said the drive was more focused on items that families needed to help make their holidays “a little sweeter.” “There were many, many items requested, and we were so excited by the incredible community support we saw!” she said. “Most of the gift requests were fulfilled by community members, with just a small amount to be filled afterward. The generosity of our community continues to amaze me, over and over again. The

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collected items are going to families at our school, with any additional donated items going to the wildfire relief efforts at Anthony Hall or our local food bank.” The feedback Joyce has received has been overwhelmingly positive, she said. “The community is so glad that the high schools are working together,” she said. “As I keep saying, during this year especially, it is so important that we work together! I think that a lot of people were really glad for another way to help people during this year that has been so hard on so many.” Regis High students also held a bottle collection as well as participating in the food drive. The Oct. 7 event was a fundraiser for the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund, set up by the Santiam Service Integration team of Santiam Hospital. A total of $10,000 was raised between collecting cans ($8,822.80) and cash donations ($1,177.20).

Nancy Stuckart, whose daughter, Peyton, is a sophomore at Regis, came up with the concept. Stuckart and her husband, Tim, have provided countless volunteer hours at the SCWRF store at Anthony Hall in Sublimity. Stuckart thought Cans for the Canyon would be a great opportunity for the Regis community to help friends and neighbors. More than 50 Regis students, staff and parent volunteer sorted, bagged and stacked some 90,000 cans and bottles. Key members included: Nikki and Derek Schumaker who donated the use of a 35-foot long-haul trailer; Sublimity Mayor Jim Kingsbury who organized and transported the cans to the Bottle Drop in Eugene; Ken and Janna Adams, organization, set-up and transportation; Jacob Adams, transport to Bottle Drop; Ron Gower, signage; Richard Van Cauteren, bottle collection; and Stuckart, organization and “expert bottle sorter.”

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Rediscover

a Better Downtown ^dh<d,KD͍ 

7 3

Downtown Stayton

Directory SHOPPING

DINING

1. Marketplace at The Grove

4. Moxieberry Café & Market

Hours: Tue.-Sat,

429 N Third Ave.

10am-4pm

503-767-2233

349-351 N 3rd Ave.

Mediterranean

503-767-4438

Restaurant

Shopping Mall

ENTErTaINMENT

• Art Gone Wild

8

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New In Downtown Stayton Boldt, Carlisle, & Smith have moved their offices from 480 N Third to The Box Coworking Space at 278 E. High St. Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District will be moving into 480 N Third soon.

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• Kitchen Store

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• Rockin’ Rodeo • The Branding Stitch

5

• The Winsome Wren Retailer, Dixie Bell Paint • 3rd Avenue

5th Annual Walk of Hearts

Proclaim your love with more than chocolate this Valentine’s’ Day! Express your sentiment on a bright red heart branded with a personal message. Each heart will be hung on a lamp post along Second or Third Avenue in Historic Downtown Stayton. You can renew last year’s message or post a new one. See details on our website www.downtownstayton.org The 5th Annual “Walk of Hearts” will help benefit Revitalize Downtown Stayton (RDS) efforts to beautify our city’s historic district. Deadline for ordering your Heart is January 15. Purchases can be made by completing the form on our website and mailing your check payable to RDS at Revitalize Downtown Stayton PO Box 696 Stayton, OR 97383. You can also purchase online at https:// downtownstayton.org/walk-of-hearts

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Boutique • 3rd Esael Art Gallery

2. Days Gone By 395 N 3rd Ave.

5. Spotlight Community Theatre 503-302-0936 Live theater

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Get Involved in Your Downtown January 2021 • 7


datebook Datebook Submission Information Get your events and fundraisers published in Our Town. If your ongoing event was postponed because of COVID-19 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 datebook@mtangelpub.com. Or mail to Our Town Datebook, PO Box 6, Stayton, OR 97383. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

City Meetings

Minutes and agendas for all cityrelated meetings and information on how to participate in/view the virtual meetings are on each city’s website. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Weekly Events Monday

Stayton Community Food Bank, 9 a.m. - noon, 1210 Wilco Road. Repeats Monday - Saturday. 503-769-4088 Senior Meals, 11:30 a.m. Delivery only. Age 60 and older. Serves Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Gates, Lyons, Marion, Mehama, Jefferson, Turner. Repeats Wednesday, Friday. $3 donation suggested. For delivery, call Ginger, 503-769-7995.

Tuesday

Virtual Storytime, 10 a.m., Zoom. Stayton Public Library will send email the morning of to those who have registered. Register: staytonoregon. gov/page/library_storytime

Wednesday

Stayton Sublimity Chamber Greeters, 8 a.m. Networking event for local business, non-profit professionals. Location varies. 503-769-3464.

Thursday

Aumsville Food Pantry, 1 - 6 p.m., Aumsville Pentecostal Church, 10153 Mill Creek Road, Aumsville. Food Pantry. 971-710-5665

Notices

Cascade Free Youth Meals

12 - 1:15 p.m. Grab-and-go breakfast, lunch. Children 1 - 18. Children do not have to be present. Locations: Aumsville Elementary, 572 N 11th St., Aumsville; Cloverdale Elementary, 9666 SE Parrish Gap Road, Turner;

NSSD Free Youth Meals

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Grab-and-go breakfast, lunch. Children 1 - 19. Children do not have to be present. Locations: Stayton Elementary, 875 N Third Ave.; Stayton Middle, 1021 SE Shaff Road; Stayton High, 757 W Locust St.; Sublimity School, 376 E Main St.; Mari-Linn School, 641 Fifth St., Lyons.

8 • January 2021

Walk of Hearts

The deadline to order your heart for the Fifth Annual Walk of Hearts is Jan. 15. Cost of the Valentine’s message is $30 per side if a new message and $25 per side for a repeat message. Order forms are available at donorbox.org/ walk-of-hearts. 503-767-2317, info@ downtownstayton.org.

Aumsville City Council

7 p.m. Zoom. Open to public. Agenda available. For login information, call 503-749-2030. aumsville.us

Lyons Fire District Board

7 p.m., Lyons Fire Station, 1114 Main St. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-859-2410, lyonsrfd.org

Stayton Fire District

Virtual Ram Stampede

Regis Athletic Association is hosting the virtual Ram Stampede 50/75/100 Mile Challenge starting Jan. 1. Runners/ walkers can participate anywhere, anytime and at their own pace. Funds benefit physical and sports programs at Regis High School. runsignup.com/race/or/ stayton/regisstampede.

Friday, Jan. 1 New Year’s Day Monday, Jan. 4

7 p.m. Zoom. Agenda available. Open to public. For login information, call 503-769-2601. staytonfire.org

Tuesday, Jan. 12 RDS Board

6 p.m. Zoom. Open to public. Email info@ downtownstayton.com for login instructions prior to meeting. Downtownstayton.org, 503-767-2317

Sublimity Parks & Recreation

7 p.m., Teleconference. Open to public. Agenda available. For login information, call 503-769-5475. cityofsublimity.org

Cascade School Board

Stayton City Council

7 p.m. YouTube. Open to public. Agenda available. Live stream https:// youtu.be/TAnHd3kskuc 503-769-3425. staytonoregon.gov

7 p.m., Cascade District Office, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-749-8010, cascade.k12.or.us

Tuesday, Jan. 5

Wednesday, Jan. 13

11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Aumsville Fire Department, 490 Church St. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

1 - 2:30 p.m. Offered through conference call by contacting Julie Mendez at 503-304-3432, julie.mendez@nwsds.org for instructions on how to participate. For caregivers 60 or older or caregivers 55 or older caring for an adult 18 years or older living with a disability.

Caregiver Connection

Red Cross Blood Drive

Stayton Parks and Rec Board

7 p.m. YouTube. Agenda available. Open to public. Live Stream on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ qPMV8fDAiR0. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Thursday, Jan. 7

Aumsville Planning Commission

7 p.m. Zoom. Open to public. Agenda available. Call for login information. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Sunday, Jan. 10 Brown House Tour

Noon - 2 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Free tour historic Charles and Martha Brown House. Reservations: 503-769-8860.

Monday, Jan. 11 Sublimity City Council

7 p.m., Teleconference. Open to public. Agenda available. For login information, call 503-769-5475. cityofsublimity.org

Thursday, Jan. 14 Online Savvy Caregiver Class

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Zoom. Seven-week class for unpaid caregivers of veterans or veterans who are providing care to a loved one with dementia. Participants need an email address and computer or table with internet access. Registration is required. Kristi Ketchum, 503-220-8262 ext. 58594.

North Santiam Watershed Council 6 p.m., Zoom. Open to public. For meeting login, call 503-930-8202.

Aumsville Fire District

6:30 p.m. Conference Call. Agenda available. Open to public. For information for joingin meeting, call 503-749-2894. aumsvillefire.org

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Monday, Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Red Cross Blood Drive

1 - 6 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Tuesday, Jan. 19 Stayton City Council

7 p.m. YouTube. Open to public. Agenda available. Live stream https:// youtu.be/TAnHd3kskuc 503-769-3425. staytonoregon.gov

Wednesday, Jan. 20 Stayton Public Library Board

6 p.m., Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave. Open to public. 503-769-3313

Thursday, Jan. 21 NSSD Board

6 p.m., Stayton Intermediate/Middle School, 1031 Shaff Road. Board meeting for North Santiam School District. Open to public. Agenda available. May move to Zoom. 503-769-6924, nsantiam.k12.or.us

Aumsville Planning Commission

6:30 p.m. Zoom. Open to the public. Agenda available. Call for login information. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Monday, Jan. 25 Red Cross Blood Drive

Noon - 6 p.m., St. Boniface Catholic Church, 375 SE Church St., Sublimity. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Aumsville City Council

7 p.m. Zoom. Open to public. Agenda available. Call for login information. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Stayton Planning Commission

7 p.m. YouTube. Open to the public. Agenda available. Live Stream on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ipKVgDWpJMo 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Sublimity Planning Commission

7 p.m., Video Conference. Open to public. Agenda available. Call for login information. 503-769-5475, cityofsubllmity.org

Tuesday, Jan. 26 Lyons City Council

6:30 p.m., Lyons City Hall, 449 Fifth St. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-859-2167, cityoflyons.org

Wednesday, Jan. 27 Online Long-Term Care 101

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Zoom. Staff from Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman discusses how to be a smart consumer, perk and pitfalls of community-based care, resident rights in licensed long-term care. Registration required. Suzy Deeds, 503-304-3429, suzy.deeds@nwsds.org

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School Scrapbook

Preschool Promise

Grant dollars fund new, novel program By Mary Owen The North Santiam School District moves forward with its publicly funded Preschool Promise program that provides opportunities for families to access and choose the preschool setting which best meets their needs. The program, which expanded statewide this fall, leverages high-quality, local, and culturally relevant early childcare and education programs. Preschool Promise makes the programs available to children living at the 200 percent poverty level. “This program was enacted by legislature back in 2015 and rolled forward in 2016,” said Natasha Kirby, the Preschool Promise teacher at Stayton Elementary School. “The North Santiam School District was awarded this grant, and we were able to start building the program foundation in mid-November. We are currently servicing eight families and their preschool-aged children through a homebased learning model. This is temporary while our classroom is being built.” According to Kirby, each week the families get four days worth of activities in an organized packet. “There are puppet activities that introduce social and emotional skills,” Kirby said. “The packet includes manipulatives and puzzles to build fine-motor skills and letter/number recognition. I have also included games and simple educational crafts as well as activities to promote pre-writing skills. Parents are reporting that the activities are easy to follow and implement AND FUN!” Kirby said the program also encourages parents to start getting into a nightly reading habit with 10 minutes a day. “We provide three books a week inside the packet for them to exchange each week,” she said. Kirby hopes to transition to a hybrid model, a Tuesday/Thursday cohort and Wednesday/Friday cohort by Jan. 19. “This hybrid model is in response to the COVID-19 guidelines,” she said. “Of course, we will be following all safety procedures regarding C-19.” Currently, the district is filling its applicant pool through the state’s Early Learning Division that processes

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applications and determines eligibility, Kirby said. “The grant covers staffing, classroom furnishing, supplies, technology and playground equipment,” she said. “Parental feedback regarding the homebased learning model and eventual in-person preschool opportunity has been very positive!” The home-based learning activities in place now serve many purposes, including helping families with structured learning activities to do with children that will help them transition into the classroom session, Kirby said. “It is also helping to build strong parentteacher relationships through daily contact that will only benefit the education process moving forward into in-person learning,” she added. “Most importantly, the kids are already boosting development from the daily activities they are engaging in.” Kirby said Stayton Elementary has about 100 kindergartners coming in each year, but only 18 spots for children age four in the SES preschool program are available. “These are precious spots, and we will fill them,” she said. “Our hope is that community members who have kids going into kindergarten in the fall will take advantage of this awesome opportunity! “Despite all the craziness of this year, we are so excited to get started,” Kirby added. “We are happy that we are able to provide this service to families in our community.”

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According to the Early Learning Division web information, Preschool Promise works with families who may need a little extra help as they start their parenting journey and those families that may have particular needs. “All this work strengthens our mission of supporting all of Oregon’s young children and families to learn and thrive,” program staff agree. “The programs we help fund are a collective, responsible for positive outcomes for our children and closing the opportunity gap for those furthest from opportunity.” For more information, call Kirby at Stayton Elementary, 503-769-2336 during school hours or contact her via email at natasha.kirby@nsantiam.k12. or.us. A brochure is available at www.smore.com/za218.

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January 2021 • 9


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Sports & Recreation

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Challenging times

Football coaches hope for a season In a strange year with severe challenges from fires and a pandemic it seems really strange that in Oregon we’re watching the college and pro football seasons winding down… while waiting for the high school teams to start. The current guidance from the OSAA calls for a Feb. 8 opening date for football practices, with games beginning the first weekend in March. That schedule depends on improvements in the coronavirus caseload and the removal of full-contact activities such as football from the state’s “forbidden” list. For area football coaches it’s a strange new world. There is a precise, seasonal rhythm to football: summer 7 on 7 work, conditioning and fall camp, the season itself, offseason weight work and spring practice. Rinse, repeat. “Holy crap this has been an interesting nine to ten months for sure,” Brandon Bennett of Cascade told Our Town. “My whole world is turned upside down. It has been 21 years since I did not play/coach football in August. So to say the least it has been day-by-day for me.”| Bennett’s Cougars were able to start offseason workouts in June and “we redesigned how we did everything to follow the guidelines.” Then the fires hit. “The fires were terrible,” he said. “They affected a large portion of our community.” During OSAA’s “Season 1” of voluntary activities football at Cascade drew the end of October through middle of November slot. Bennett’s squad was able to do some 7 on 7 work against other schools, but the highlight was the annual youth flag football league. “We provided flag football for over 150 first through sixth-graders in the community,” he said. “To see the smiles on the kids’ faces was all worth it.” Randy Nyquist has faced similar challenges at Stayton. “We have been able to have conditioning and skill development two times per week this fall,” he said. “We have taken a break since Thanksgiving and will re-evaluate the situation after Christmas break.” Nyquist’s charges have not been able to use the weight room because of

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COVID restrictions, but he notes that “motivation and focus have been a positive thing. The kids are starving for competition and fellowship with their teammates, and enthusiasm has been high throughout the year. Just being around each other on the field creates energy and enthusiasm and recharges everyone’s batteries.”

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Nyquist also recognizes the importance of working with the upcoming situation. “We will continue to focus on the things we have control over and not get caught up in the things we can’t control,” he said. “The virus has created a huge opportunity for all of us to work on our mental toughness.” Up the Santiam Canyon the fires put far more than just football at risk and, in combination with the virus, left Santiam coach Carl Rupp feeling like he was on a roller coaster. “Over the summer, we were doing outdoor bodyweight workouts and conditioning in small groups with social distancing, as per the rules at that time,” he said. “Then new guidance came out that shut us down, and then the fires hit on top of all of that. Once we got a little more settled after the fires, more guidance came out, so we put off workouts until we had a firm grasp on what we could and couldn’t do, and recently got going again. “It’s tough to keep the kids engaged for this long, there’s no way around it. Our guys are resilient, though. They’ve been through worse than a delayed football season after this fall’s wildfires. They’re excited about the chance to strap it up and knock some people around though, and we’re glad that we get to be the sport that kicks things off this year. “It almost provides a sense of normalcy in a weird way.” Follow me on Twitter.com @jameshday.

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January 2021 • 11


Food & Drink

Meal budgeting By Melissa Wagoner When stay-at-home orders advised that people stock up in order to cut down on trips to the grocery store, I looked at my cupboards – rows of glass jars filled with dried beans, rice and lentils that my husband is always challenging me to get to the bottom of – and I smiled. Why do I have all of this food amassed in my small house? Am I actually planning for the end of days? No. I simply grocery shop once each month. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. I do the majority of our grocery shopping on one day each month and then I supplement it with smaller additions – milk, eggs and produce throughout the month. And I’ve done this for years – long before the coronavirus reared its ugly head. Why do I do it? Torture myself for the majority of a day going from store to store when I could break it up, go once a week, or even once a day? There are several reasons. But the main one is this: when I shop less, I spend less. I don’t come out

Planning ahead saves money and time

with those unplanned purchases. I find it easier to plan and budget – and with three hungry kids that is a major win.

Shop less, save more Every time I walk into a store, I come out with something I did not intend to buy. It’s difficult not to. Stores are designed with just this ploy in mind. Eye-catching end caps and check-stand impulse purchases – these were all put there with the express purpose of adding one more thing to the cart. And I am no more immune to these tricks of the trade than anyone else. Instead, I live by the motto – the less I shop, the less I buy. Period. While I have long labored under the illusion that limited grocery shopping is a trait only I possess, I recently found two like-minded, think-ahead menu-planning gurus – 33-year-old Brittany Stenger and 46-year-old Heather Shepherd. “I’ve learned the hard way that without a plan, I will buy things on impulse that we really don’t need,” Stenger said, echoing my own reasoning. “There’s

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a lot of beautiful and alluring food packaging out there, and while I fully encourage everyone to treat themselves on something fun each week, it’s important to stay focused on your family’s goal with food and finances.”

Know before you go Every good grocery list starts with a quick scan of the larder. What is there that needs to be used up? What should be thrown away? That’s where I begin. “Before you head to the store, shop from your pantry first,” Stenger suggested. “Take inventory of what you already have and start there. How can you incorporate something that you already have in your pantry or freezer into a dinner or two this week?” Once I have established what I already have, the month’s menu planning can begin. I use spiral notebooks for this part because they sit near my kitchen and are easy to reference throughout the day without turning on my computer. But my old-timey method isn’t for everyone and a simple Excel worksheet can work just as well.

“I use a weekly meal planning worksheet,” Shepherd said, “very simple, that shows the days of the week with an area for each meal.”

Keep the seasons in mind After contemplating my cupboards, I consider what’s available, depending on the season. This is where notes of previous years’ menus can be helpful, but there are other research methods as well. Farm to fork websites and cookbooks focused on seasonal cooking are all a wealth of knowledge on what is fresh and locally sourced throughout the year. But the most helpful of all iare farmer’s markets. “Once I have gone to the farmer’s market, I will then plan my menus,” Shepherd, who does her meal planning on a weekly basis, said. “Having fresh vegetables for salads is amazing. I can cook ground beef to have taco salads or purchase lunch meat to make chef salads…alternating between the meals so my family does not become bored with the same food daily.”

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spending and wasted food.

Repetition simplifies planning Morning and midday meals are easy at our house, because we rotate through a handful of favorites for breakfast and eat leftovers for lunch. Similarly, Stenger rotates two to three breakfasts and lunches throughout the week.

“When I started budgeting for food, a few years ago, I realized how much food was being wasted because it was not being eaten before it went bad,” Shepherd admitted. “I also realized how much food just stayed on the shelf because I was taking my family out to eat meals.”

So, for my menu plan, I stick mainly to dinners. Using certain standbys – tacos, burritos and pizza – every month to simplify the planning. While Stenger uses a method of themed dinners that makes her own twice-monthly planning a breeze. “We rotate two to three different breakfasts and lunches throughout the week,” she began. Adding, “We have ‘themed’ meals for dinner each week which has helped cut down on the decision fatigue that can come with poor meal planning. We incorporate one ‘take out’ (dine out, order in, order from a meal planning service, fast food, etc.) each week as well.” With fun labels – Meaty Monday, Tired Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday and Sizzle

Also, estimating food spending each month can help you set and obtain goals. “It’s wise to know where your money is going even if you aren’t facing financial difficulty or uncertainty,” Stenger said. PHOTO BY MELISSA WAGONER

Saturday – Stenger also, on occasion, adds in days to experiment with cooking something new, or making a double batch to freeze for later.

Budget and track

Keeping track of how much is spent on food each month – both at grocery stores and at restaurants – can highlight possible issues with overspending, wanton

“Budgeting for food is helpful because you will feel less stressed if you have some sort of goal and plan set in place. Knowing where you stand will help you chart out where you want to go. It will also help you save for other expenses you might have coming up.” But budgeting doesn’t mean giving up on foods that are wholesome or delicious. In fact, Shepherd has found that budgeting and menu planning have actually worked

in tandem to help her ensure that her family is eating a healthy variety. “When budgeting and meal planning together, you can ensure that you are feeding your family from all the food groups,” she stated. “I also started seeing how much processed foods my family ate and I started preparing more fresh items.” The thing to keep in mind is that there is no right or wrong way to meal plan – once a week, every other week, or even once a month. And it can be a wholly new plan each time or it can be something that is reused week after week. The important thing to remember is that planning – though it may take work on the front end – eventually saves both time and money once the systems are in place. “By researching what other families were doing, I noticed that the moms that were the least stressed out about cooking had some sort of system that they followed no matter how busy the days got,” Stenger said. I whole-heartedly agree.

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January 2021 • 13


A Grin at the End

Yo, Adrian!

2020 brought us down – but not for the count

If the year 2020 were a movie, it’d be Rocky. Round after round, we were pummeled as our defenses were breached. It was not pretty. But as the end of the year arrived, the music came up and we celebrated the mere fact that we were still standing. The crowd swarmed the ring congratulating us on our survival, and we collectively held up our hands and told the referee, “There ain’t gonna be no rematch.”

before they were reaching out to help others. Still others stepped up in a hundred different ways to help those who needed it. When coronavirus made its ugly comeback, many people just shrugged, put their masks on and when to work. The politicians couldn’t make up their minds about what to do but citizens did their best to avoid the virus and still get on with their lives.

We hope. For 12 rounds we had been hit from every direction by mysterious diseases, wildfires and nutty politics. The economy skidded into the ditch, throwing millions of people out of work. Just when things seemed to be getting better, they got worse. It was as though each round was a test. But we passed the tests, all of them. Time ran out and now they’re over. Done. Kaput. And we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and dive head-first into 2021. In past years in this space I have made predictions of what the coming year will bring. Once in a while I was even right, although I still look forward to Stayton changing its name to Staytona – you have to admit that it

It was impressive, so much so that anyone who has been paying attention would be in awe.

sounds pretty cool. But this year, I have no glimmer of a clue about what’s ahead. I’d be crazy even to make a wild guess beyond the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. As they say, “My momma didn’t raise no fool.” Everything has become so unpredictable so much of the time we just seem to be along for the ride. But I do know this. During the past year, as we absorbed one body blow after another, we got tougher. Our backbones stiffened as we saw ourselves and our neighbors through difficult times. What I saw from the sidelines was astounding. People who lost everything in the wildfires didn’t skip a beat

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It’s been said that playing sports builds character. I don’t really agree with that. Instead, I believe that sports reveal character. The tougher the challenge, the better people respond. After the year we just went through, I have seen the character the vast majority of Oregonians has displayed, and I’m not worried in the least about the year to come. As a matter of fact, I know we’re all ready for anything 2021 has to offer. Bring it on! Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in Stayton. Place your ad in Marketplace 503-769-9525

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January 2021 • 15


503.769.2175 santiamhospital.org 16 â&#x20AC;¢ January 2021

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Our Town South: Jan. 1, 2021  

Community news serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama.

Our Town South: Jan. 1, 2021  

Community news serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama.