Our Town South: Feb. 1, 2024

Page 1



Preschool reopens under new ownership in Aumsville – Pages 16

Jury awards $84.2M to fire survivors in PacifiCorp Phase 2 – Page 8

Vol. 21 No. 2


Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama

February 2024

Aumsville invests in new park space – Page 6

Our Town 2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton, Or 97383



Sports & Recreation

Hoops winter breakdown – Page 17

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Civics 101 Kotek discusses Oregon’s challenges.....4

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Sublimity’s Cranston retires.................6


Aumsville plans new park....................6

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Sewer rates assessed in Aumsville........6 Bethel Baptist serves as new home for Aumsville food pantry......................... 7



Jury awards $83 million in Phase 2 trial. 8 PacifiCorp asks PUC for liability limits...8

Datebook............................10 The Forum............................13 Passages.............................14 Above


Students at Little Country Preschool in Aumsville. SHELBY LULAY

New preschool opens in Aumsville....... 16

Sports & Recreation Hoops report..................................... 17

A Grin At The End...... 18

On the Cover

Detail of proposed Eastside Community Park in Aumsville. The concept includes features such as an amphitheater, BMX track and multi-use sports field. SUBMITTED IMAGE

2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton • 503-769-9525 ourtown@mtangelpub.com www.ourtownlive.com Paula Mabry Editor & Publisher

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Family Health

Mary Owen Carl Sampson • Melissa Wagoner Thank you for spending time with Our Town. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

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February 2024 • 3


Civics 101

A ‘to-do’ list Governor discusses state challenges in Salem speech By James Day Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, who is starting her second year in office, was the featured speaker at a Salem Chamber of Commerce event on Jan. 8 at the Salem Convention Center. The event, which attracted a capacity crowd of 300 people, was part of the Chamber’s speakers series and was not intended to be viewed as a state of the state address, a Kotek aide said. Kotek spoke for about 15 minutes, engaged in a 35-minute Q & A with Chamber President Alan Rasmussen of Aumsville, and then fielded questions that audience members had submitted for the final 10 minutes. The audience was respectful and applauded the governor politely, but there was little sense that Kotek’s appearance had galvanized many toward her policy goals and initiatives. Her comments tended toward the aspirational and emphasized “work we

still have to do” rather than concrete policies and plans.

more timber and thus lower the materials costs for builders.

Kotek often referred to what she had learned about the state in her Oregon Listening Tour, an ambitious project that put her in all 36 counties.

Kotek said she supports the HCP process and added that she “needs clarity on what we can protect and what we can harvest. I’m committed to that conversation.”

The tour stopped in Aumsville, Silverton and Detroit on June 22, 2023, with the governor discussing housing and homelessness, agricultural issues and wildfire recovery in the Santiam Canyon.

Kotek said that statewide broadband and better online service are economic necessities.

Kotek, 57, a first-term Democrat from Portland who now lives at the governor’s mansion in Salem, briefly addressed two issues that resonate more broadly in rural Oregon: plans to produce a habitat conservation plan (HCP) for state forests in Western Oregon and the challenge of providing broadband coverage to as many Oregonians as possible. Rasmussen framed the timber question to align with Kotek’s top issue of housing, with the chamber president, who works for a modular building and storage unit company, asking if the plan might free up


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Other major topics discussed by Kotek included livability issues in Portland, budget challenges and work on homelessness in Salem and the upcoming legislative effort to revise Measure 110.

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“States should have a role,” Kotek said, adding, “there are benefits to having state workers here. There is a sweet spot somewhere.” On Measure 110: Rasmussen described the issue as the “elephant in the room.”

Voters passed the initiative in November 2021 by an almost 59% On Portland: Kotek said margin, including a 74% that Portland came up Governor Tina Kotek. yes vote in Multnomah often during her listening COURTESY SALEM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE County, although 19 of tour. “Portland needs to the state’s 36 counties voted no. be successful,” she said. “If Portland is having problems that’s bad news for the The measure reduced criminal and entire state.” possession penalties on drugs such as heroin, meth and oxycodone. The goal Kotek noted that Portland is a “magnet of the measure was to provide treatment for fentanyl trafficking” and said that “if for users rather than jail time, but the your first stop in the state is Portland it addiction treatment piece of the puzzle should look better and feel safer.” has been slow to get started. On Salem: Kotek congratulated Salem city and business leaders as well as its social “When 110 came in when service teams for turning the corner on decriminalized,” Kotek said, “but we homelessness. The governor noted programs didn’t have the other piece ready. You providing motel rooms, a navigation center want to get it right. You don’t want to go and tiny villages that have “lowered the back and forth.” number of tents on the sidewalks that we Measure 110 reform is high on Kotek’s used to see five or six years ago.” list of items she hopes the 35-day session She publicly opposed the payroll tax that of the Legislature will address when it Salem voters overwhelmingly defeated in convenes Feb. 5. Licensed in the State of Oregon

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February 2024 • 5

Civics 101

Cranston retires from Sublimity commission By Melissa Wagoner

mark on the city he loves.

Randy Cranston likes being involved in his community.

“Randy’s diligence in this manner has allowed Sublimity to grow in a very positive way,” Etzel said.

“We want to leave it in at least the same condition, but preferably better,” he explained.

With his retirement from the Planning Commission taking place at the end of December 2023, his knowledge and experience will be missed.

Although Cranston is a member of numerous Randy Cranston. nonprofit organizations SUBMITTED PHOTO including the Stayton Public Library, Habitat for “Land use in the state Humanity and Kiwanis International – to of Oregon is complicated and it takes name just a few – it is his 26-year tenure someone with experience, like Randy, to on the Sublimity Planning Commission work their way through the process…” that is most impressive. Mayor Kingsbury said. “Randy’s always been on the Planning Which is one reason the decision to leave Commission,” Mayor Jim Kingsbury was a difficult one. laughed. “And if I had a question about the code or what a development would “But it was time,” Cranston said. He will look like, it’s always been Randy that has use the extra time to take a more active taken on that task.” role in the leadership of his church. “And fortunately, Sublimity runs like a wellInspired to join the commission in January oiled machine.” 1997 after seeing an advertisement in the local paper, Cranston initially thought the position sounded like fun.

“Right out of the shoot there were seminars and classes and trainings,” Cranston said of the commitment that turned out to entail more hours than the advertised once a month meeting led him to believe. “But they gave us the opportunity to make Sublimity, Sublimity.” Recognized for his dedication to maintaining wide streets and sidewalks throughout the city – “one of his notable achievements,” according to fellow Planning Commission member, Ron Etzel – Cranston has undoubtedly left his

In fact, Cranston is confident that, despite his retirement – which unfortunately coincides with the additional retirement of Etzel and the passing of Dolores Morris – the City of Sublimity is still in good hands.

“We have a Public Works Director that’s awesome,” he began. “And we have a Council that works toward the future.” That just leaves the task of filling the three empty Planning Commission seats. “I hope the spots won’t stay vacant for long,” he said, adding, “It’s hard to leave but I’m thankful.”

Concept for Eastside Community Park in Aumsville.


County to consider Aumsville park expansion Marion County has scheduled a hearing for later this month to consider expanding the Aumsville Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) by 23 acres to allow for a proposed city park. Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 21 before the Board of County Commissioners, the hearing is expected to be followed by a board vote on whether or not to approve expansion. The Aumsville City Council held its own hearing Oct. 23, 2023, and voted to approve UGB expansion to make room for the creation of Eastside Community Park. The city purchased land for the park on Bishop Road SE along Hwy. 22 in 2019 and added the proposed facility

to the Aumsville Parks Master Plan in June of 2023. The goal is to build a park that could serve newer housing developments in the east end of town, as well as the community in general. The proposed facility could include athletic fields, walking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, restrooms and other amenities. In a letter to commissioners dated Nov. 2, 2023, the council said the proposed park would help meet statewide planning goals including increased recreational opportunities and urbanization. – Stephen Floyd

Reviewing rates Aumsville studying options as sewer plant progresses

By Stephen Floyd

The City of Aumsville has commissioned a rate study to learn how much it may have to charge customers to finance a new sewer plant as the project enters a new design phase. On Jan. 8 the Aumsville City Council finalized a contract with FCS Group to study whether or not a potential loan package for the $28 million project will require a change in rates. So far the city has secured $16 million in state and federal grants and is exploring additional options to secure the other $16 million. In December City Administrator Ron Harding​said Aumsville may need $11 million in

6 • February 2024

low-interest loans to completely fund the project, the repayment of which would likely require an increase in sewer rates.

Aumsville has been working to replace its sewer plant since 2017 when a report by DEQ found the current facility was unable to meet discharge requirements. To avoid state and federal fines and the potential pollution of Beaver Creek and local groundwater, the city agreed to a compliance timeline that included constructing a new facility. In addition to analyzing the potential impact of loans, FCS Group will study the city’s current sewer rate structure and policies. It’s estimated the study may take three to six months to complete and the goal is to give city officials “a financial toolset” to take an informed


approach to any potential rate increases.

Also on Jan. 8 the council contracted with Westech Engineering to begin drafting final designs for the project, with a deadline of October of 2025. This represents a new phase of the project after initial designs were approved late last year, also completed by Westech. Final designs will allow the city to seek funds that are reserved for “shovel-ready” projects and could include federal and state grants and loans. Final designs will also give clearer indications of overall project costs, construction timelines and plant operation costs, which will also impact any decision by the council to change sewer rates.

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Helping Hands

Still needed Aumsville food pantry opens at church By Melissa Wagoner

Aumsville Community Food Pantry at Bethel

When Della Seney learned the Aumsville Food Pantry – originally opened in 2016 at the Aumsville Pentecostal Church of God – would be closing its doors in August 2023, she knew she had to help.

645 Cleveland St., Aumsville Open second and fourth Thursday, 12 to 4 p.m. www.bethelaumsville.org

“I previously ran the pantry here in the 1980s,” she said, describing the importance of having a centrally located food pantry for those that lack access to consistent transportation. “Right now, people have to go to Stayton or Salem.” A member of the congregation at Bethel Baptist Church for the past 58 years, Seney knew the church’s parsonage was recently vacated, and thought the building might be the perfect location. “I presented it to the elders,” Seney recalled. Once they approved, the only thing left was to find a Director of Operations. “That’s when Dave [Keck] stepped in.” “God opened a door, and I stepped in,” Keck, who moved to Aumsville from Southern California 18 months ago, said.


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toward shelves stocked with pantry staples. “We haven’t had to buy almost anything.”

Della Seney and Dave Keck, co-directors of the Aumsville Community Food Pantry at Bethel. MELISSA WAGONER

Working together, the duo has since completed renovations on what they’ve coined the Aumsville Community Food Pantry at Bethel. “So far the community has been generous with donations,” Seney said, motioning

Recruiting volunteers has been relatively easy as well, with 12 transferring from the previous food pantry and another 13 joining the crew. “And that doesn’t include the volunteers from Cascade and Stayton high schools that help us unload the trucks before we open,” Seney added. Seney estimates the new pantry will offer services to around 200 individuals. “We hope to meet the needs of all the community that needs it,” Seney said.

Teachers receive MAP classroom grants Maps Community Foundation recently awarded a total of $35,000 in grants to 41 K-12 teachers in the Mid-Willamette Valley Region, including Taylor Guidos of Cascade High School and Julia McFerron of Turner Elementary. Guidos will use his grant money to purchase Lego sets and STEM project boxes to provide more hands-on educational opportunities for his special education students. “This grant gave our class access to five separate Lego sets, and has helped my students gain relationships with other students, help regulate their emotions, and give them confidence to achieve their goals,” Guidos said. McFerron will purchase supplies for a new after-school art club that will lead a school-wide project to create a mural for the side of the gym. “I am so grateful to the people at MAPS for the $1,000 grant this year,” she said. “



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February 2024 • 7



Verdict is in Jury awards $84.2 million to nine fire survivors By Stephen Floyd

Rosinia asked the jury to award at least $5 million each just for the trauma of enduring the fires, plus damages the jury believed were justified by plaintiffs’ suffering, capped at $25 million each.

Nine survivors of the 2020 Labor Day fires have been awarded $84.2 million after a Portland jury returned a verdict in a Phase II damages trial in James et al vs. PacifiCorp.

PacifiCorp attorney Per Rramfjord said non-economic damages should be based on plaintiffs’ individual experiences and not “an emotional appeal to punish [PacifiCorp].”

On Jan. 23 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, 12 jurors awarded $6.3 million in economic damages and $56 million in non-economic damages following four days of testimony. Phase I last year set punitive damages at 25%, as well as double economic damages for PacifiCorp’s recklessness and negligence, bringing the total to $84.2 million. A verdict had been expected the week before, however, the courthouse was closed Jan. 16 to 19 due to icy weather. Judge Steffan Alexander thanked jurors Jan. 23 for remaining committed to their duty despite the unexpected extension. Plaintiff attorney Nicholas Rosinia, with Edelson PC, said in a statement they were grateful to the jury for holding PacifiCorp accountable and for the “strength and resilience of our clients.” PacifiCorp said in a press release it plans to appeal the verdict and will continue pursuing “reasonable” settlement offers. The company also said the jury’s award will be around $78.9 million after adjustments such as the deduction of insurance payouts to fire survivors from insurers who settled with PacifiCorp last year.

He proposed $11.4 million total, ranging between $500,000 and $2 million each, saying this would “change each plaintiff’s lives” and “help them adapt and move forward.”

Plaintiff Attorney Cody Berne lists the reasons the jury can award non-economic damages during closing arguments Jan. 22 in Multnomah County Circuit Court in a damages trial for James et al vs. PacifiCorp. IMAGE COURTESY OF CVN.COM

Additional Phase II trials are scheduled for Feb. 26 and April 22 to help set a standard by which the claims of roughly 5,000 class members can be settled. The class includes survivors of the Santiam, South Obenchain, Echo Mountain Complex and 242 fires, which PacifiCorp was found negligently responsible for during Phase I last year. An initial group of 17 plaintiffs were awarded $92.4 million during Phase I. If the totals of the two verdicts were averaged out by person, potential jury awards to the remaining class could be more than $30 billion. Non-economic damages were the main focus of the most recent trial, which started Jan. 8. PacifiCorp said in opening arguments it would not contest economic

damages that were supported by the evidence. During closing arguments Jan. 22, Rosinia said plaintiffs had been fundamentally changed by the fires and were “plagued by nightmares, cynical, struggling to enjoy life.” He replayed emotional testimony including from Gates resident Scott Johnson, who said the experience was “devastating in every single way you can possibly imagine.”

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8 • February 2024

Johnson, who jumped off a cliff into the North Santiam River with his wife to escape the Santiam Fire, was awarded $8.5 million in non-economic damages. The upcoming Feb. 26 trial is expected to feature claims from 10 class members and is scheduled through March 1. The April 22 trial will feature claims by Freres Timber and C.W. Specialty Lumber and is scheduled through April 30. Court proceedings were made accessible by Courtroom View Network (cvn.com).

Exhibit celebrates Oregon’s geologic splendor Santiam Heritage Foundations February events at the Brown House Event Center includes “Oregon 150 Years of Statehood: 150 Million Years in the Making,” a traveling exhibition from the Oregon Historical Society. The exhibit is provided in part with financial support from the Samuel S. Jackson Foundation. In 2009 Oregon celebrated 150 years as a state. Oregon’s landscape has a much longer history – geological processes have been building the state’s landscape for more than 150 million years.

33 years experience

The jury sided with plaintiffs and awarded non-economic damages of $6 million each to six of the nine fire survivors. Gates resident Steve Nielsen was awarded $4.5 million, while Eagle Point resident Cory Staniforth was awarded $7 million.

This exhibit illustrate how geology crafted Oregon’s landscape and natural resources and continues to shape the land and lives of its


citizens. The most iconic of Oregon’s landscapes – Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, Newberry Crater, Steens Mountain, and the Painted Hills – display Oregon’s geologic splendor. On Feb. 11, noon to 2 p.m., the exhibit will be open for viewing during the Second Sunday Open House. On Oregon’s birthday, Feb. 14, a special open house to show the exhibit will run 1 to 4 p.m. The final showing will be Saturday, Feb. 24, noon to 2 p.m. Admission, $5, under 18 free, includes the exhibit and a docent guided tour of the 1903 house located at 425 N. First Ave., Stayton. See www. cmbrownhouse.org.

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Liability limits

PacifiCorp discourages scrutiny of request By Stephen Floyd PacifiCorp is discouraging regulators from looking too close at its pending request to limit customer lawsuits, arguing any legal shortfalls should be dealt with in court after the fact. In an opening brief filed Jan. 23 with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC), the company said its proposal cannot override the right to pursue reasonable damages in Oregon’s Constitution. It further argued that the laws potentially applying to its proposal are complex and it was “likely not possible” for such a proposal to avoid conflicts with all of them. These same complexities would also require potential conflicts to be addressed case-bycase, said the company, which the judiciary is better-equipped to do. PacifiCorp argued, because of these factors, PUC should approve its request without further inquiry into constitutional issues. “Those issues, only if or when they arise, are best left to the relevant judicial forum.” A PUC analysis of the proposed limitations remains ongoing after staff said last year they needed to investigate the unknown legal and policy impacts of PacifiCorp’s request. Our Town reached out to PacifiCorp for comment but did not hear back by deadline. PacifiCorp filed a request with PUC Oct. 24, 2023, for leave to add a limited liability clause to its user agreement. The clause would allow only economic damages and only for losses caused by the use of electrical services, and would apply to all current PacifiCorp customers in Oregon. PacifiCorp’s request was originally schedueld

for approval Nov. 29, 2023, and this was delayed until April 9 after PUC staff requested time to conduct an inquiry. They said they had questions about the unknown legal and policy implications of the request, and whether or if it had precedent. Their report is due Feb. 20. In PacifiCorp’s original filing, it said the limited liability clause was necessary to protect the company’s financial health in light of a credit downgrade in June 2023 due to a wildfire verdict. Last year $92.4 million was awarded to wildfire survivors in Phase I of James et al vs. PacifiCorp and shortly afterward PacifiCorp’s credit was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings. An $85 million verdict in the same lawsuit was awarded Jan. 23 amid ongoing efforts to determine damages for a class of 5,000. At press time it was unknown if the company’s credit rating would be impacted. James class members have said PacifiCorp’s PUC request may harm their ability to seek damages. They have been granted intervenor status to participate directly in proceedings. The Jan. 23 PUC brief did not mention either verdict or the company’s credit rating. Instead PacifiCorp made the argument that high legal liability leads to high service rates, and that it was the role of regulators to prevent the former and avoid the later. PacifiCorp said its proposal was a “proactive” attempt to “mitigate the impact to utility rates from catastrophic environmental disasters.” It said PUC had the legal right to limit PacifiCorp’s liability or even to “preclude any damages at all” and encouraged the commission to approve its proposal.


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February 2024 • 9

datebook Frequent Address Stayton Community Center, 400 W Virginia St. Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave.

Weekly Events Monday

Stayton Community Food Bank, 9 a.m. - noon, 1210 Wilco Road. Repeats Monday - Friday. 503-769-4088 Santiam Senior Center, 10 a.m. 4 p.m., 41818 Kingston-Jordan Road, Stayton. Seniors 50 and older. Daily, weekly, monthly events. 503-767-2009, santiamseniorcenter.com Senior Meals, 11:30 a.m. Delivery only. Age 60 and older. Serves Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons, Marion, Mehama. Repeats Wednesday, Friday. $3 donation suggested. For delivery, call Ginger, 503-769-7995.


Family Storytime, 10:30 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Explore the world of early literacy through songs, stories, rhymes. All ages welcome. Free. 503-769-3313 English/GED/Citizenship Classes, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 Fern Ridge Road. Class is free; workbook is $20. Runs through June. Repeats Thursdays. 503-779-7029


Stayton/Sublimity Chamber Business Network, 8:15 a.m. Network building event for local business, non-profit professionals. Location varies each week. For location, call 503-769-3464. St. Boniface Archives and Museum, 9 a.m. - noon, 370 Main St., Sublimity. Learn about Sublimity and possibly your family history. Free. 503-508-0312 Toddler Time, 10:30 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Explore the world of early learning and literacy together with your infant or toddler. Older siblings welcome. Free. 503-769-3313 Stayton Area Rotary, noon, Santiam Golf Club, 8724 Golf Club Road, Aumsville. Guests welcome. 503-5089431, staytonarearotary.org Cascade Country Quilters, 12:30 p.m., Santiam Senior Center, 41818 Kingston-Jordan Road, Stayton. 50 and older. 503-767-2009

10 • February 2024


Sublimity Quilters, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., St. Boniface Catholic Church, 375 SE Church St., Sublimity. Make quilts for local community donations and charities. Everything is provided. New members welcome. Point Man Ministries, 6 p.m., Canyon Bible Fellowship, 446 Cedar St., Lyons. Veterans support organization. 503-859-2627


Cars & Coffee, 8 a.m., Covered Bridge Cafe, 510 N Third Ave., Stayton. Bring your classic vehicles for coffee, breakfast.


Revival Youth Hangout, 5 6:30 p.m., New Hope Community Church, 657 N Second Ave., Stayton. Youth of area are welcome. revivalheartbeat@gmail.com.

Thursday, Feb. 1 Dungeons & Dragons

Sunday, Feb. 4 KofC Breakfast

7:30 - 10 a.m., St. Mary Parish Hall, 9168 Silver Falls Hwy., Shaw. Homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, hash browns, fruit cup, coffee, juice. Cost: $9 adults, $2 children 12 and under. 503-362-6159

Acoustic Jam Session 1 p.m., Snow Peak Brewery, 280 E Water St., Stayton. Bring instruments or just come sing along. All ages and experience levels welcome. Free. 503-767-2337

Monday, Feb. 5 Abigail Scott DAR

10 a.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Guest speaker is Kimberli Fitzgerald, historic preservation officer and city archaeologist for the city of Salem. Daughters of American Revolution meeting follows presentation. All welcome. 503-508-8246

5:30 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Sign up online at staytonlibrary.org. If you’d like to bring your own character, make them a level three. For adults and teens ages 12 and older. Free. 503-769-3313

Stayton City Council

Author Bob Welch

Noon, Covered Bridge Cafe, 510 N Third Ave., Stayton. Club and new members are welcome. Repeats Feb. 20. staytonlionsclub.org

7 - 9 p.m., Scio Public Library, 38957 NW First Ave. Author Bob Welch speaks on his book, Seven Summers (and a few bummers): My adventure hiking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Free. Open to public. 503-394-3342

Friday, Feb. 2 Groundhog Day Red Cross Blood Drive

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Aumsville Fire Department, 490 Church St. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

Art Show Opening Reception 6 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Meet local artists of the library’s February art show. Refreshments. Open to public. staytonlibrary.org, 503-769-3313.

Volksfest 1 - 10 p.m., Mt. Angel Festhalle, 500 NE Wilco Hwy. A Mt. Angel Celebration of German Sausage. Live music, entertainment. Local craft brews, wines. Food, craft vendors. Volkswalks for all ages. Tickets, good for all three days, $10 for 21 and older. Children under 21 free. Repeats 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Feb. 3; 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Feb. 4. For complete list of activities, visit mtangelvolksfest.com.

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Tuesday, Feb. 6 Stayton Lions Club

Stayton Parks and Rec Board 6 p.m., Stayton Public Works Conference Room, 311 N Third Ave. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-769-3425

Bingo for a Cause 1 p.m., Snow Peak Brewery, 280 E Water St., Stayton. Play free bingo and support Stayton Community Food Bank. Bring nonperishable food or monetary donations. Free. 503-767-2337

Aumsville Fire District 6:30 p.m., Aumsville Fire Station, 490 Church St. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-749-2894, aumsvillefire.org

Lyons Library Board 7 p.m., Lyons Public Library, 279 Eighth St. Open to public. 503-859-2366

Spotlight Community Theatre 7 p.m., The Spotlight, 383 N Third Ave., Stayton. Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland: The Musical. Tickets are $15 adult, $12 seniors age 60 and older and college students, $10 teens age 13-17, and $8 for youth age 4-12. Repeats 7 p.m. Feb. 9-10 & Feb. 15-17; 2 p.m. Feb. 10-11 & Feb 17-18. Tickets at onthestage. tickets/spotlight-community-theatre.

Friday, Feb. 9 Community Play Group

10 - 11:30 a.m., Doris’s Place, 574 N 11th St., Aumsville. Free Community Play Group sponsored by Family Building Blocks. Includes complimentary snacks. RSVP: 503-769-1120, familybuildingblocks.org.

Saturday, Feb. 10 Grow Your Own Food

10 a.m. - noon, Santiam Community Gardens, 846 Fifth St., Lyons. Learn about planning and growing food in a raised bed. Garden space, seeds and tools provided. Free. For details or to pre-register, call or text 503-859-2517 or email seedsupper97358@gmail.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Teddy Bear Tea

1 - 2 p.m., Zoom. Free educational support group for unpaid family caregivers caring for a loved one 60 years of age or older, or caring for a person living with dementia. For Zoom invite and register, contact Julie Mendez, family caregiver support specialist at 503-304-3432 or julie. mendez@nwsds.org

Sunday, Feb. 11

Caregiver Connection

Thursday, Feb. 8 Aumsville Food Pantry

Noon - 4 p.m., Bethel Baptist Church, 645 Cleveland St., Aumsville. Open to people in need of food items. Repeats Feb. 22. 503-749-2128


2 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Reserve your spot for tea with your favorite stuffed animal. Space is limited. Tea is at 2 p.m., 2:20 p.m. or 2:40 p.m. RSVP at the library or by calling 503-769-3313.

Brown House Tour

Noon - 2 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Tour the historic Charles and Martha Brown House and the traveling exhibition, “Oregon 150 Years of Statehood: 150 Million Years in the Making.” $5/person. Children under 18 are free. For a special reserved guided tour, call 503-769-8860. The traveling exhibition can also be viewed 1 - 4 p.m. Feb. 14 and noon - 2 p.m. Feb. 24. cmbrownhouse.org

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Monday, Feb. 12 Coffee with a Cop

7:30 - 9 a.m., McDonald’s, 1988 Shaff Road, Stayton. Visit with Stayton police officers. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Santiam Artists Connection Noon - 3 p.m., Old School Community Center, 22057 Emma St., Lyons. Artists gather to paint and draw. Each artist brings own supplies and projects. Free; donations to Community Art Center accepted. Denise, santiamsanders@gmail.com

Sublimity City Council 6 p.m., Sublimity City Hall, 245 NW Johnson. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-769-5475, cityofsublimity.org

Aumsville City Council 7 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Open to the public. Agenda available. 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 7 p.m.,. Stayton Fire Station, 1988 W Ida St. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-769-2601, staytonfire.org

Tuesday, Feb. 13 STEAM

3:30 - 4:30 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Drop in to try out a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math activity. Free. 503-769-3313

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

Wednesday, Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day RDS Board Meeting

5 p.m., Beauchamp Building, 278 E High St., Stayton. Revitalize Downtown Stayton monthly meeting. Open to public. 503-767-2317, downtownstayton.org

Santiam Heritage Foundation Board 6 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Open to public. 503-768-8860

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Thursday, Feb. 15

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Monday, Feb. 26

5:30 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Make some roses using colored paper and book pages. Supplies provided. Free. 503-769-3313

1 - 2 p.m. Zoom. Free group for unpaid caregivers providing support to a loved one living with dementia. The focus is to provide dementia care information, training and resources to family caregivers. Offered by Family Caregiver Support Program at NorthWest Senior and Disability Services. To register, contact group facilitator Julie Mendez at 503-304-3432 or julie.mendez@nwsds.org.

11 a.m., Stayton Public Library. New members welcome. 503-932-2733

DIY Craftshop

Saturday, Feb. 17

Garden and Food Questions Answered 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Community Gardens, 846 Fifth St., Lyons. Linn County OSU Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers will answer your individual questions about gardening and food. Research-based videos and publications are available for free. Drop in for baked goods, beverages and information. Free. Diane, 503-859-2517, seedsupper97358@gmail.com

Flea Market 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1140 Fifth St., Lyons. Crafts, collectibles. Hamburger/cheeseburger lunch served. Free admission, parking. Tailgating weather permitting. 503-859-2161

Bethel Clothing Closet 10 a.m. - noon, Bethel Baptist Church, 645 Cleveland St., Aumsville. Clothing from newborn to 2x. Free. 503-749-2128

Joseph’s Storehouse of Hope 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Mari-Linn School, 641 Fifth St., Lyons. Food boxes. 503-881-9846

Monday, Feb. 19 President’s Day Santiam Artists Connection Noon - 3 p.m., Old School Community Center, 22057 Emma St., Lyons. Artists gather to paint and draw. Each artist brings own supplies and projects. All levels welcome. $5 donations suggested to support the community center. santiamsanders@gmail.com

Tuesday, Feb. 20 Alzheimer’s Seminar

1 - 2 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Learn about healthy living for brain and body through tips from the latest research. Free. Register at alz.org/crf or 800-272-3900.

North Santiam Watershed Council 6 p.m. Zoom. Open to public. For Zoom link information, call 503-930-8202 or email council@northsantiam.org.

Stayton City Council 7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Dementia Care Conversations

Stayton Library Board 6 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Open to public. 503-769-3313

Thursday, Feb. 22 Red Cross Blood Drive

8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Cascade High, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

Red Cross Blood Drive 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

Red Cross Blood Drive 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

NSSD Board 6 p.m., Stayton Elementary, 875 N Third Ave. Board meeting for North Santiam School District. Open to public. Agenda available. 503769-6924, nsantiam.k12.or.us

Saturday, Feb. 24 Budget Cooking for One

10 a.m., Santiam Community Gardens, 846 Fifth St., Lyons. Basic cooking skills and meal planning with low-cost pantry foods are practiced. For details or to pre-register, call or text 503-859-2517 or email seedsupper97358@gmail.com.

Princess Ball 4 - 7 p.m., ZCBJ Hall, 38704 N Main St., Scio. Father-daughter dance fundraiser for Lamb & Wool Fair royal court. Princesses of all ages are welcome to bring their father/father-figure. $30/ couple, $10 per additional princess. Ticket sales are cash only, and are available through Lamb Fair princess or by emailing lwroycourt@gmail.com.

Stayton Friends of the Library Red Cross Blood Drive Noon - 5 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1077 N Sixth Ave., Stayton. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

Aumsville City Council 7 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Open to the public. Agenda available. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Stayton Planning Commission 7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to the public. Agenda available. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Tuesday, Feb. 27 Lyons City Council

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

Thursday, Feb. 29 Book Club Discussion

4 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Discuss The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict. Join for tea, treats and book talk. Free. 503-769-3313

SHS Theater Production 7:30 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St. Stayton students perform Mamma Mia! Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students. Students w/ASB card are $3. The play contains mature language and themes. It is recommended for ages 12 and older. Repeats 7 p.m. March 1-2; 2 p.m. March 3. Tickets at staytontheater.ludus.com or at the door. ••••••••••••••••

Datebook Submission Information To get your events and fundraisers published in Our Town, send your releases – including date, time, location, activity, cost, contact information – to datebook@mtangelpub.com. Or drop them off at 2340 Martin Dr., Stayton.

Spaghetti Dinner 5 - 7 p.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1140 Fifth St., Lyons. Spaghett, garlic bread, salad, dessert and refreshments.$10 per person. 503-859-2161


February 2024 • 11


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The Courtroom & the Family Room By Gregg Harris


done in the hope of being “good enough” to earn God’s favor can be allowed as evidence in His courtroom. You stand guilty as charged and have only your own death to offer as payment for your guilt. You are doomed.

s we begin the New Year, I thought it would be helpful to expose two major errors that often distort the the Christian faith. Even those who are not yet Christians can recognize when these duel errors of Legalism and Lawlessness show up in the lives of those who believe the gospel concerning Jesus. Legalism is where Christians mistakenly believe they still have to be “good enough” in order to maintain their salvation. Like the Pharisees of old, they try to put God in their debt by keeping His law. “I obeyed you God, now reward me.” Legalism leads either to self-righteousness or discouragement. It dishonors Christ by failing to rest in the sufficiency of what He has done for us by dying in our place on the cross.

Lawlessness, on the other hand, is where Christians presume upon the grace of God as a license to keep on sinning. They wrongly think that since they have been forgiven by trusting in what Jesus has done for them, they can continue living in sin as if sinning no longer matters to God. That is not true.

Both Legalism & Lawlessness Are Distortions of Christianity! Both of these errors are wrong, but they are wrong for opposite reasons. They are like two ditches on either side of a country road. The road itself is living under the reign of a living Lord, Jesus Christ. He is not a set of rules. He is a person, and His will for His people is real. We must obey Him, not in order to be saved, but because, by His grace, through faith, we are saved. We rest from our efforts to earn His favor while eagerly doing His will. The crazy thing is that when one obsesses too much on staying out of the ditch of legalism, he tends to swerve quickly into the ditch of lawlessness, and visa versa. This dilemma is resolved by what the Apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to a young pastor named Timothy. “Study to shew yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV). “Rightly dividing” God’s Word may sound scary, but the Bible requires us to know which passages apply to us at any given point in our lives. If we apply the right passages of God’s Truth to the right times and places, we can avoid both ditches and stay on the road of our salvation.

Three Major Divides God’s Word, the Bible, never changes. But thankfully we do change. We don’t have to remain in our sinful life forever. As we sing in the wonderful old hymn, Amazing Grace,

12 • February 2024

But then, Jesus Christ, your great Attorney, addresses the Court. “Your Honor, if it please the Court, I have already paid this sinner’s debt. I shed my own blood on the cross for this rebel. As you know, I had no debt of my own to pay, and so, I have agreed to have my death applied to his account. He has put his faith in Me to be his Savior and Lord, and so, according to Your Law, he belongs to Me.” Gregg Harris, “D ue

l Ditch Avoider”

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.”

There is silence in the courtroom as the angels lean in to hear the verdict. “Case dismissed!” the Judge cries out. “The accused is free to go!” And so, the Judge of All the Earth has ruled in your favor. There is nothing more for you to say or do in the Courtroom Scene of God’s justice. Your chains are removed. Your guilt and shame have all been paid in full by Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. It is finished.

As we experience God’s amazing grace it transforms us. Though we are “lost,” we can be “found.” ““Case dismissed!” the Judge cries Having been out. “The accused is free to go!” And so, spiritually “blind” for the Judge of All the Earth has ruled in a time, we can now your favor. There is nothing more for you “see.” For that reason, not every to say or do in the Courtroom Scene of passage of Scripture God’s justice. Your chains are removed. can rightly apply to Your guilt and shame have all been paid us at the same time. in full by Christ’s death, burial and As we pass from death to life, different resurrection. It is finished.” verses will apply in different scenarios The Family Room Scene that I call “scenes.” From the Courtroom Scene you are ushered The Search & Rescue Scene into the Family Room of God. With all When we are lost, and thinking God hates us, charges against you having been dropped, you are now “born-again” as a “child of God.” He is like a first-responder on a search and You are no longer “dead in your trespasses rescue mission. Jesus tells us in Luke 19:10 and sins.” You have “passed from death into “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to life” by receiving a new heart that is no longer save that which was lost.” Jesus is the “friend wicked and a new spirit as well (Ezek. 36:25of sinners.” If you are currently in this Search & Rescue Scene, God is calling you to repent 27). You are adopted into God’s family. and trust in Him. The Bible says, “The heart is So, you find yourself in the Family Room deceitful above all things, and desperately Scene where God is now your Heavenly wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). So, Father instead of your Judge. Jesus is now you cannot trust your own feelings. Trust God your older Brother and Lord. What could go instead. When you finally stop running from wrong? Well, actually, quite a bit can go Him and start trusting in Jesus to save you, wrong here if you are not taught correctly. He will usher you into an entirely new scene This is where so many Christians get the where another set of Bible verses will apply. relationship wrong. The Family-Room Scene is where the twin errors of Legalism and The Courtroom Scene Lawlessness are most likely to show up. By God is the God of Justice. He must punish all mixing up which Bible verses apply to you those who rebel against His will. In the here you can end up in one ditch or the other. Courtroom Scene of God’s justice, you will find yourself on trial. But nothing you have


“Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” Requires You to Study When Paul wrote, “rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) he probably had legalism and lawlessness in mind. A different set of verses apply in the Family Room Scene. For example, if we apply the classic Courtroom Scene passage about having been “saved by grace through faith” “not of works lest anyone boast” (Eph. 2:8) to your new life in the Family Room Scene, you can mistakenly think you no longer have any responsibility to do what pleases God. This is the ditch of Lawlessness. This passage applies only to your justification by faith in the Courtroom Scene of God’s justice. It does NOT exempt you from seeking to please your Heavenly Father as a member of His loving Family. God has plans for you in His family. In fact, we read in the very next verse, in Eph. 2:10, that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” This passage speaks clearly to the Family Room Scene where God has “prepared good works for us to do.” Hebrews 12:5-11 tells us God even disciplines us as His children when we disobey Him. But He NEVER disowns us. So, if you, as a believer in Christ, mistakenly apply Eph. 2:10 to your Court Room Scene, you are committing the error of thinking your “good works” somehow add support to your justification before God. They don’t. When you do that, you are swerving into the ditch of Legalism, thinking you can only keep your salvation by being “good enough” for God.

Staying on the Road So, there is a ditch on both sides of the road of the Christian life: Legalism on the one hand and Lawlessness on the other. Both distort the truth. The road itself is living under the reign of your Lord, Jesus Christ. What is His will for your new life? Show your love for Him by the way you love your neighbor (Rom. 13:8-10). That is your new life in God’s family. So, apply the right verses to the right scenes, and you will stay on the road. Got questions? Please call or text me at 503-926-1388.

Men’s Prayer Breakfast!

Every Thurs. morning 5:30-7:00 AM at 409 South Water Street, Silverton Join us as we study the Bible, pray for our city, challenge one another to grow in our faith & enjoy a great, free breakfast. Please RSVP by text to 503-926-1388. To help us publish these articles each month, go to NobleInn.org/articles. There you can also read all 12 of the articles published thus far.

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The Forum

Bad assumptions Science behind Habitat Conservation Plan challenged The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has developed a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to provide a comprehensive way to comply with the federal Endangered Species Act, while managing state forests for social, economic and environmental benefits.

Guest Opinion Ed Diehl

Oregon State Representative, House District 17

Two goals of current forest policy are to increase spotted owl populations and reduce carbon emissions by increasing forest habitat and curtailing timber harvesting. I oppose the HCP because the evidence shows that these goals have not, and will not, be achieved with these policies. The HCP doubles down on decades of bad policy which has devastated the communities that live, work, and recreate in these forests, resulting in raging wildfires and the loss of jobs and revenue to these once-thriving rural communities.

increase in carbon storage. One assumption in the model is that locking up state forest lands in HCAs, and stretching out harvest cycles to 90+ years in other areas, are important strategies for carbon storage. I would argue these strategies do the opposite. Forestry researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have consistently found that locking up forests ends up emitting more CO2 than sustainable harvests. The research shows that a 45-50 year timber harvest cycle is optimal for carbon storage – you grow a tree through its highest carbon storing years, harvest and ‘sequester’ that carbon in lumber to build homes, and plant another tree to repeat the cycle.

The HCP would continue this, significantly reducing annual timber harvests for the next several decades. The HCP establishes Habitat Conservation Areas (HCAs), and in some modeling assumes no harvesting in the HCAs after 30 years. The models are designed to increase the habitat for endangered species. The ODF highlights as an added benefit an


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Our state forests are the gem of the Northwest: a beautiful resource for recreation, providing jobs, and generating much-needed revenue. The HCP doublesdown on turning our state forests from an asset into a liability. I urge you to join me in opposing the HCP.

The HCP will also not reach its species protection goals. I talk more about that in my blog, which is linked at the end of this article.

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The science supporting the HCP is foggy at best and has serious flaws. But the economic impact to the state could not be clearer: the reduced harvests called for by the HCP models result in a $60 million revenue loss to the state in the first biennium and increasing every biennium thereafter. That’s a $4.5 billion revenue hit to the state over the model’s timespan. Most of this revenue is transferred to the counties for essential services such as fire departments, emergency services, and other public services. So, what is the ODF expecting the state legislature to do? Raise taxes to make up the difference? Short the counties of essential funding? Pull more money out of the state’s General Fund? And if we pull more money from the General Fund, what state programs would we cut? Drug addiction treatment? Youth mental health services?


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February 2024 • 13



Peggy Ann O’Hara Yates Perdue

Cherith Elaine Davis March 4, 1958 – Jan. 16, 2024

May 26, 1940 – Jan. 9, 2024 Peggy Perdue went to be with Jesus on Jan. 9, 2024 at the age of 83. She was born on May 26, 1940 to Bert and Kitty O’Hara. Soon after her birth, her father passed away, but at the age of eight she was blessed with a new father in Marcus Yates who adopted her and her brother Harry after his marriage to Kitty on Oct. 2, 1948. She married her love, Troy Wayne Perdue, on April 26, 1958 in Las Vegas, Nevada and proceeded to have four wonderful children. Peggy loved to sew, knit, crochet and spend time with her children and grandchildren. She was a phenomenal cosmetologist and instructor in her field. Peggy is survived by her husband of 65 years, Troy Perdue; her four children, Christi Tucker (Terry), Randy Perdue (Kellie), Kevin Perdue (Deborah) and Vicki Morris (Mark); along with 15 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and her beloved pets Rowdy, Ruffy, and Sven. Services were held at Silverton Assembly of God Church on Jan, 19, 2024. Internment at Willamette National Cemetery will be held at a later date. Peggy loved her family with such unconditional love and will be remembered for her generosity, laughter and most of all her love for family and friends alike. She touched a great many lives and will be greatly missed.

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Cherith “Cherry” Elaine Davis (Coates, Moses) of Lebanon, Oregon, passed away at Salem Hospital Jan. 16, 2024. She was 66.

predeceased by her late husband, Jeffrey Moses, and daughter, Amanda. She was a loving grandmother to Dominic, Evan and Issac; sister to Stephen (Tracy) Coates and Faith (Scott) Cross of Ontario, Canada; and sister-in-law to Debra Beaslin of Utah and Lanny Davis of Washington.

A long-time resident of the Stayton-Mill City area, she fought a lengthy battle with ill-health. Cherry was born in Mount Albert, Ontario, Canada to Cecil and Margaret (Davy) Coates. She is survived by her husband of 27 years, James Davis, and her children, Rachel Moses and James (Jocelyn) Moses. Cherry is

Cherry will be missed by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family and friends in the United States and Canada. Celebrations of Life will be held for in Utah and Ontario, Canada.

Sara Ruth Mettling Dec. 30, 1982 – Jan. 5, 2024 Sara Ruth Mettling, 41, of Salem, Oregon, passed away peacefully on Jan. 5, 2024, in the company of close friends.

and a smile. Her laughter was infectious, and her presence lit up any room.

Born on Dec. 30, 1982, Sara was a cherished daughter, sister, and friend. Sara’s radiant spirit and unwavering kindness touched everyone she encountered.

A celebration of Sara’s life will be held on Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Orchard Shelter in the day use picnic area at Silver Falls State

Sara was a sharp-witted businesswoman, a loving cat mom, a talented crafter, and a lover of life. A vibrant soul, she always approached life with enthusiasm

Sara is survived by and will be dearly missed by many family members and friends.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Sara’s honor to The Pixie Project cat rescue in Portland, Oregon or The Asher House in Estacada, Oregon.

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Hank Porter

Stayton remembers seven-time mayor, teacher, coach

By Stephen Floyd

learning and play.

City officials recognized the legacy of the late Hank Porter during the most recent meeting of the Stayton City Council, acknowledging Porter’s many decades in civic leadership.

Daughter Penelope Doss recalled the fatherly wisdom he had imparted over the years. Such maxims included “If the park ranger does not know what they’re talking about, it’s OK to take over,” and “You can live off of oatmeal and prunes, you just don’t want to.”

Porter died at age 81 on Dec. 26, 2023, less than a year after he stepped down from his seventh non-consecutive term as mayor.

Doss said Porter encouraged her to take more time to enjoy life and not get caught up in life’s doldrums.

He first held the position in 1979. Porter was also on and off the council for three non-consecutive terms from 1974 to 2014. The role was in addition to being a beloved civics teacher and cross-country/ track coach at Stayton Union High School from 1968 to 2002, and the owner of a gun shop in downtown Stayton. Porter’s successor, Mayor Brian Quigley, said during the council’s Jan. 22 meeting that Porter was someone who “gave to the community.” “He made [Stayton] a better place for all of us to live here,” said Quigley. One contribution was the dog park which now bears Porter’s name on E. Florence Street and Fourth Avenue. The park was completed in 2017 during Porter’s fourth term as mayor and was funded by a partnership between the city and community groups. Quigley said Porter would be happy to know he had left something behind that the community could enjoy. He thanked the late mayor personally for being a mentor and for the example he

“I’ve thought about that a lot lately, and I’m going to make more time to go have some fun because that’s what he did,” said Doss, who also encouraged those in attendance to “be up for having fun.” Hank Porter’s photograph was displayed at his memorial service.

set for all city officials. “Thanks, Hank, for leading the way for us,” said Quigley. Porter’s accomplishments were also remembered during a memorial service Jan. 9 at Calvary Lutheran Church, in Stayton. Former City Councilor Mark Kronquist, who served from 2017 to 2022 alongside Porter as mayor, recalled how Porter led efforts to reinvigorate the downtown business district. Kronquist provided a printed statement for display in the church lobby along with other remembrances. He said when Porter became mayor again in 2015 the businesses on Third Avenue were dwindling, with Hank’s Gun Shop one of the few left standing.


Kronquist said the mayor recruited local residents to reinvigorate the downtown core and “remade Stayton.” Son Vaughn Porter recalled how his dad was driven to get out and do as much as he could and to “bring some good to the world,” even if not all his efforts were successful. “As mayor he made a lot of efforts to try and improve on the city,” said Vaughn Porter. “They weren’t always successful, but he put that effort out there.” “He made an impact on the world,” Vaughn Porter continued. “The fact that there’s so many people here (at the service) I think that speaks volumes of the mark he left on this world.” In addition to his civic accomplishments, Porter was remembered as a lover of

Porter’s idea of fun varied broadly and included ancient history, books, movies, guns, cars, boats and outdoor excursions. Arthur Porter recalled going on a hunting trip to Africa with his dad and the two went on a self-guided tour in a truck for a couple of weeks. Arthur Porter said, though he and his dad fought a lot when they were younger, Hank Porter grew to be his best friend. “There won’t be a time I won’t want to call and ask him about something,” said Arthur Porter. Reverend Joel Nickel recalled Hank Porter as a scholar, public servant and occasional “sermon critic,” and said at the end of his life the late mayor felt burdened by the feeling that he was leaving much undone. Nickel said this is often the result of seeking the common good, because pursuing higher purposes is unending on this side of eternity.

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February 2024 • 15



Play-based, child-led New Aumsville preschool opens By Melissa Wagoner Shelby Lulay has big dreams for her newest endeavor, a preschool she calls, Little Country School, in Aumsville. “I would like to impact the community in big ways,” she confirmed. “But right now, I’m just starting out.” New to business ownership, Lulay is not, however, new to teaching. “This year is my twentieth year working with children,” she said. “My degree is in psychology and family studies, but my focus point was on early childhood.” Starting her career by volunteering in an elementary school at 19, Lulay went on to intern at Family Building Blocks in Salem and then, more recently, to teach at a cooperative preschool where both her children were attendees. “I was in the classroom with them every day and I loved it,” Lulay recalled. But last year, with her two children in elementary school, Lulay found herself looking for a way to get back into the classroom full time. That’s when she learned Sweet Country Sprouts, with a prominent location on Main Street, was for sale. “I bought it in August and took it over in September,” Lulay said. “So, I had a week because I wanted to lessen the impact on the families.” Reopening with a new name and a fresh coat of paint, Lulay hit the ground running, teaching both a morning class of six students and an afternoon class of five. “We do have some children getting ready to go to kindergarten,” Lulay said of her students, whose ages are between three and five. “So, in the morning we provide a more academic experience.” But that is not to say that the rest of the day lacks opportunities for learning. Rather, Lulay – whose intentionally small class sizes allow her to create an individualized program – weaves learning into every activity.

Little Country School 905 Main St., Aumsville www.littlecountryschool.org Enrollment: students aged three to five in either morning sessions from 8 to 11:15 a.m. or afternoon sessions from 12 to 3:15 p.m. Individualized Early Learning Experience: prearranged two-hour intermittent childcare on Mondays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays upon request. School Age Art Classes and Date Night events: schedule listed on Facebook “I tend to be play-based and child-led,” Lulay said. “And I’m extremely passionate about books and reading. That’s one of my primary tenets.” And it’s the basis for her curriculum, which involves focusing on a different letter of the alphabet each week.

Shelby Lulay, owner of Aumsville’s Little Country School. MELISSA WAGONER

“I tend to think in themes,” Lulay said, describing how she is utilizing the week’s letter, D, to teach a unit on dinosaurs in a hands-on way. “The most amazing thing about children is how they absorb [knowledge],” Lulay said. “They really learn from doing. I give lots of time for play – imaginative play and art. And I balance the program to meet the needs of the children.” She’s also interested in meeting the needs of the community. And so, she has recently begun expanding the school’s programming to include Individualized “early learning experiences” – two-hour childcare slots – schoolaged art classes, birthday party rentals, date nights and – coming soon – toddler time. “What I want to do with this is offer to the community what I needed when my kids were young,” Lulay said. “I want to create a really high-quality program.”

Students at Little Country Preschool in Aumsville. SHELBY LULAY

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Sports & Recreation

Hoop rivalries Cascade takes pair of wins

Round one is in the books, with round two coming up in just a couple of weeks on Feb. 9.

And, as always, the matchups are a barometer for state bragging rights. No. 3 Philomath and No. 7 Cascade, both 2-0, are tied for first in the early going in Oregon West girls, with Stayton (1-1) ranked 5th. Cascade, the two-time defending boys Class 4A champs, are also tied with Philomath for the early league lead. The Cougars are ranked third, one slot behind the Warriors. See you on Feb. 9! Regis is on a similar tear in the Tri-River Conference. The Rams boys squad is 17-0 overall, 7-0 in the league and ranked

Thursday, Feb. 1 Boys Basketball

5:30 p.m. Stayton vs Sweet Home

Girls Basketball

7 p.m. Stayton vs Sweet Home

Friday, Feb. 2 Wrestling

The StaytonCascade hoops rivalry, for my money the best in the Willamette Valley, turned in a pair of excellent matchups on Jan. 23, with the Cougars claiming a 61-47 win in the boys game behind 24 points by Landon Knox. Cascade also triumphed 42-32 in the girls contest. Olivia Bennett scored 19 points to lead the Cougs, who closed on a 16-2 run. Some new/old coaching matchups add to the spice of the doubleheader in Turner. Former Eagles boys coach Tal Wold, who won a state title and took home a ton of trophies at Silverton, is back in Stayton, this time with the girls. And Stayton AD Darren Shryock, who previously coached the girls squad to the state tournament, now is coaching the Eagles boys.

Sports Datebook

TBD Cascade vs Molalla

Tuesday, Feb. 6 Girls Basketball

5:30 p.m. Cascade vs Sweet Home 5:30 p.m. Regis vs Salem Academy Former Regis High athlete Tyler Voltin (79) rumbles toward the end zone while scoring on a two-point conversion for Oregon State in its Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame in December. OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

first in Class 2A. The Regis girls are 14-4, 6-2 and ranked fifth. Both squads seem likely candidates for 2A tournament berths in Pendleton. The boys took sixth a year ago, with Tri-River squads Salem Academy, Western Christian and Kennedy taking the top three trophies. Football: Yes, the Beavers were outmatched in their Dec. 29 Sun Bowl game against Notre Dame, but OSU showed its spunk on a fourth-quarter two-point conversion in which the ball was snapped directly to 6-4, 370-pound redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Voltin of Stayton. Voltin, a 2020 Regis High graduate, had three blockers lined up to the right in front of him and he used them well, veering off the shoulder of the first blocker to slip into the end zone. Voltin

played in ten games during the 2023 season for the 8-5 Beavers as a backup lineman after a sterling career with Regis, where he was a three-sport all-league player and league lineman of the year in football. Voltin also is no stranger to special teams. He was an all-league punter/placekicker with the Rams. Wrestling: Former four-time state high school wrestling champion Mauro Michel is making his presence felt at the community college level. Michel, who is wrestling at 133 pounds for Southwestern Oregon in Coos Bay, has taken over first place for his weight class in the National Junior College Athletic Association rankings. Michel, who wrestled at both Cascade and Stayton in high school, took over the top spot as a result of a pin against previous No. 1 Cody Phelps of Western Wyoming.

Boys Basketball

7 p.m. Cascade vs Sweet Home 7 p.m. Regis vs Salem Academy

Thursday, Feb. 8 Girls Basketball

5:30 p.m. Stayton vs Cascade 5:30 p.m. Regis vs Colton

Boys Basketball

7 p.m. Stayton vs Cascade 7 p.m. Regis vs Kennedy *Home varsity events only. Visit osaa.org for complete schedules.

Saturday, Feb. 10 Boys Wrestling

Stayton @ Regionals, Stayton High

Boys Basketball

7 p.m. Cascade vs Baker

Monday, Feb. 12 Girls Basketball

5:30 p.m. Cascade vs North Marion

Boys Basketball

7 p.m. Cascade vs North Marion

Thursday, Feb. 15 Girls Basketball

5:30 p.m. Stayton vs Philomath

Boys Basketball

7 p.m. Stayton vs Philomath

Tuesday, Feb. 20 Girls Basketball

5:30 p.m. Cascade vs Philomath

Boys Basketball

7 p.m. Cascade vs Philomath BASKETBALL © ALEKSS / 123RF.COM

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February 2024 • 17

A Grin at the End

‘Our next guest’ A fun idea to find out hidden reasons for annoyances I have an idea for a TV show.

$40,000 car to save a few pennies?

It would be called Who Thought That Was a Good Idea?

Engineer: Yes. It happens all the time in almost every company.

In it, I would sit at a kitchen table with a pot of coffee and two cups. Also sitting at the table would be my guest – an engineer, architect or other person who designs some of the crazy stuff we all encounter. I would pour my guest a cup of coffee, and we would talk.

Me: That’s why you have to have three hands and eight-inch-long fingers to fix a car?

My first guest would be an automotive engineer – specifically, the person who designs headlights on cars. Those guys must be nuts! I have on numerous occasions changed the headlight bulbs on a variety of cars. In some cars, it takes a couple of minutes. In others, it can take up to two hours. Changing a headlight bulb can involve removing a front fender or bumper, jacking up the car to access a screw behind the bumper, or being doublejointed. When my kids were little they always expanded their vocabulary when

they watched me work on a car – if you know what I mean. My first question for the engineer would be: Who thought hiding headlights behind and under fenders and bumpers was a good idea? Engineer: Well, I can tell you that the headlight we designed was easily accessible, but after the bean counters got a ahold of it, the design was turned into the Rube Goldberg nightmare you saw. They said the original design was too expensive and the company could save three cents by using the new design.

Engineer: Yep. That’s also why you need to take a car to a mechanic to do almost anything. Time was, almost anyone could do routine maintenance, including changing the oil and transmission fluid, adjusting the timing, swapping out spark plugs or anything short of major surgery… Me: …And now it takes a Ph.D. to figure it out. I recently had to have something replaced on a car that I didn’t even know existed. And it took a mechanic two tries to fix it.

Me: Oh, I thought the canister was designed to keep the balance in my checking account down. Engineer: That, too. But it’s a government thing. We just do what we’re told in that department. Me: Great. Not only are MBAs redesigning cars, so are politicians. Engineer: Pretty much. Me: Well, I guess that settles that. We need fewer bean counters and politicians and more engineers. For my next episode of Who Thought That Was a Good Idea? we will talk with the architect who designs public restrooms in sports arenas so they have all of the comfort and style of cattle barns.

Everything You Need, For Anything Yo Engineer: Well, a lot of it has to do with things government requires on cars, like evaporative canisters to keep the emissions down.

Engineer: Ha! I can’t wait for that one. Public restrooms are the architectural equivalent of Edsels!


Me: So you’re saying someone with a business degree redesigned your

Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in Stayton.

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