Our Town South: June 2024

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COMMUNITY NEWS Something To Celebrate The Class of 2024 crosses the stage – Page 10 Sports & Recreation Pickett leads Cascade girls to 2nd in state 4A track – Page 16 POSTAL CUSTOMER ECRWSS Our Town 2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton, Or 97383 PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID PORTLAND OR PERMIT NO. 854 Vol. 21 No. 6 Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama June 2024 Returning to Shellburg Falls – Page 17 Your Garden Attracting backyard birds to your garden spaces – Inside
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At Country Meadows Village, seniors are living independent lives with everything they need.

With our campus of independent living and assisted living options, we are able to offer a wide array of activities and events that cater to everyone. Our communities are tailored to meet all of our residents’ specific needs rather than one inclusive model, meaning that if you need help with Activities of Daily Living, our assisted living Community offers exceptional senior care. Or, if you still live an independent life but would also like a community that offers amenities like meals, housekeeping, transportation, security, social events etc. we provide our independent living facility, and when it is time to transition to assisted living, you can do that easily.

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Facebook: OurTown / Santiam ourtownsantiam.com June 2024 • 3 Contents Something Fun Pavement mural brightens Stayton Farmers Market space ......................... 4 Business Santiam, Samaritan consider merger... 5 Something to Celebrate Stayton, Regis, Cascade graduations ..... 6 School Spotlight Districts receive Common School Funds ... 8 Helping Hands Cascade gets grant for new ag hub ......... 9 SIT teams receive Linn County grant ..... 10 Your Garden................... Inside Something to Think About Lincoln’s Light – a story of hope ......... 11 Update Another PacifiCorp challenge of Phase II verdict denied ................................... 13 Passages ................................ 13 Datebook........................... .14 Sports & Recreation Cascade girls 2nd in 4A state track ..... 16 Shelburg Falls reopens for hiking ...... 17 A Grin at the End... .......... 18 Marketplace ................. . .... 18 Above Lincoln Medeiros. JORDAN MEDEIROS On the Cover Shellburg Falls. JAMES DAY 11
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Bringing artsy back Walkway mural

The renewed push for public art in Stayton has kicked off with a mural downtown – not on a building as one may expect, but as a colorful walkway at the site of the Stayton Farmers Market.

Located near the corner of Third Avenue and Florence Street, the art installation is part of efforts by Revitalize Downtown Stayton (RDS) to freshen up the site including new pavement and striping.

Julie Bochsler, RDS treasurer, said the goal of the mural is to have “something fun to liven up the farmers market.”

Because Bochsler owns the portion of the lot where the mural was painted, she personally commissioned Portland artist Shade Pratt through bookanartist.com. Bochsler said she liked the vibrant “psychedelic” feel of other public art displays Pratt had completed such as murals on businesses and skate parks in the Portland area.

The finished piece is a 15-foot by 100-foot flowing pattern of orange, pink and lavender. It will serve as the main walkway between booths at the market. The mural was completed May 14, in time for the start of the market’s 2024 season on May 31.

The Stayton Farmers Market is held Wednesdays 3 to 7 p.m. from June through September and the last Friday of the month, called TGI Friday Fest, 5 to 8 p.m. from May through September.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh this is so cool,” Boschler said of

Community Improvement Grants

The Stayton City Council has awarded $40,000 in grants for seven projects as part of the city’s renewed Community Improvement Grant program.

A similar program began in 2019 but was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council set aside $40,000 in this year’s budget to revive the program. Applications were accepted until March 29.

Eight applications were received requesting a total of $61,185. The council had the discretion to grant full or partial awards when approving applications.

City Manager Julia Hajduk said the city was glad to receive so many applications and hopes even more will come if there are funds for the coming fiscal year.

Grant awards included:

$10,000 to Jon Mesa for sidewalk improvements outside Marketplace at the Grove.

reaction to the mural. “We needed something fun down here.”

Because the mural is on the ground, Bochsler said RDS did not have to go through the recently-reformed Stayton Public Arts Commission. RDS will need to seek commission approval for a mural on the blank wall of the adjoining building, also owned by Bochsler. She said she is already seeking ideas for the space.

The Public Arts Commission was revived in January amid broader community development efforts. The commission was first formed in 2021 but became dormant amid the COVID-19 pandemic and after the passing of founding member Judy Mohney in 2023.

In March the commission regained a quorum of members and held its first meeting May 23.

$8,100 to Revitalize Downtown Stayton for paving and striping of event space at Third Ave. and Florence St.

$6,000 to Revitalize Downtown Stayton for bike racks and dog stations downtown.

$5,200 to Sharon Kunkel to clear overgrowth and obstructions at N 5th Ave. and E Burnett St. to improve pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and curb appeal.

$5,200 to Nicholas Raba to establish a community Father Daughter Dance.

$5,000 to Jeannine Campos for lights on trees along N Third St. and N Second St. and cross streets.

$500 to Patricia Wooldridge for a Neighbor Free Library station on W Kathy St.

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refreshes Farmers
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A new walkway mural has been painted at the site of the Stayton Farmers Market as part of efforts by Revitalize Downtown Stayton to freshen up and enliven the space. JULIE BOCHSLER Digital exclusive: Our Town spoke with artist Shade Pratt, who painted the walkway mural near Third Ave. and Florence St. The interview can be found at ourtownsantiam.com.

Letter of intent Santiam Hospital explores joining forces with Samaritan

Santiam Hospital & Clinics  is working on a potential affiliation with Samaritan Health Services that could lead to the hospital teaming up with Samaritan.

The Stayton-based hospital issued a press release May 22, noting that the two health care entities have signed a non-binding letter-of-intent that will allow them “to further evaluate the affiliation with the anticipated outcome of Santiam Hospital & Clinics becoming part of Samaritan Health Services.”

Samaritan Health Services is a nonprofit regional health system that includes five community hospitals, more than 100 physician clinics and multiple health insurance plans.

It serves more than 290,000 residents in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties. The hospitals are in Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, Lincoln City and Newport.

Samaritan employs more than 6,000 workers, including 620 clinicians, and

is governed by a volunteer board, which includes community members, physicians and hospital leaders.

Santiam Hospital & Clinics also is a nonprofit health care organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors. Santiam Hospital & Clinics features an independent, acute-care hospital in Stayton, and also operates 11 clinics serving the Santiam Canyon in Marion and Linn counties.

Santiam Hospital & Clinics employs more than 600 people, including 70 medical staff.

Melissa Baurer, director of integrated health and outreach at Santiam Hospital & Clinics, told Our Town that Santiam and Samaritan “have been in discussions … for some time. We have always had a good relationship with Samaritan Health Services and align well with each other.”

Baurer said that “complete affiliation could take up to a year or more and (that) there should be no change to patient care as a result of this portion of the process. Both of our missions center on providing care for our communities, and that remains our


No financial terms have been released and Santiam Hospital declined an Our Town request to review the letter-of-intent.

Maggie Hudson, the CEO and president of Santiam Hospital & Clinics said “This potential affiliation is a strategic shift to secure a better future for the patients served by Santiam Hospital & Clinics. It is our commitment to strengthen this long-lasting health care system to be here to serve the residents of the Santiam Canyon, not just for today or tomorrow, but for decades to come.”

The press release also included a statement from Doug Boysen, president and chief executive officer of Samaritan Health Services.

“We are excited about working more closely with the team at Santiam Hospital & Clinics as we move into this next phase of our collaboration,” he said “Throughout our discussions it has been clear that the alignment of our organizations – our missions, values and culture – positions us well to strengthen services across the region for those in our communities.

“The health care industry is evolving, and we believe that this affiliation will ensure that Samaritan Health Services and Santiam Hospital & Clinics both remain sustainable, strong institutions, providing access to quality health care.”

Hudson agreed, noting that “we are focused on serving our respective communities and learning from each other. Our shared strengths position us well for continued vitality so we both remain long-lasting institutions. I’m driven by the relationships we are forging between our organizations, leaders and clinicians in order to better serve our communities.”

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Something to Celebrate

Class of 2024 Graduation time for Stayton, Regis, Cascade high schools

Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2024!

The North Santiam School District will graduate 150 students this year, with 120 graduating from Stayton High School and 30 from NSSD Options Academy.

Valedictorians for the SHS Class of 2024 are Gavin Criswell, Christine McCants, Molly Schotthoefer and Aunika Thiessen. David Trott is the salutatorian.

The graduation ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on June 7 in the Salem Armory Auditorium in Salem.

“The class of 2024 is filled with personality as much as it is with scholarship,” said Vicky Storey, SHS principal. “These students have made our hallways, classrooms and playing fields lively and welcoming. We are so proud of their accomplishments.”

Regis St. Mary Catholic Schools had 27 seniors graduating. The ceremony was held at 6 p.m. on May 31 in the Regis High School gymnasium.

The RHS valedictorian is Caleb Mayer, The salutatorian is Tyler Schumacher

“The faculty and staff are thrilled to celebrate this year’s graduating class, which is extra special as they are the 60th class to graduate from Regis High School,” said Candi Hedrick, Regis principal. “Their futures hold a variety of paths as they move on to universities, the military, trade schools and the workforce.

“We are thankful for each of our students and the many blessings they brought to Regis High School,” Hedrick added.

Cascade High School will send off 210 seniors this year, 180 from Cascade and 30 from the Cascade Opportunity Center.

The graduation ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on June 5 at Federico Field, the high school football field.

The Class of 2024 valedictorians are Amy Lyn, Jacob Gehley, Esther Sumpter, Matthew Gardner, Carlee Smith, Saydey Merriman,

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“These students have accomplished so much in terms of their academics, activities, clubs, athletics and community service,” said Peter Rasmussen, CHS principal. “We believe the class of 2024 will achieve great things and impact our world for good.”

The Cascade Opportunity Center will hold its graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on June 29 at the center.

Principal Marie Thompson congratulated the students who, she said, “have worked so hard to achieve their diplomas!”

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Gavin Criswell, Stayton High valedictorian Christine McCants, Stayton High valedictorian Molly Schotthoefer, Stayton High valedictorian Aunika Thiessen, Stayton High valedictorian David Trott, Stayton High salutatorian Caleb Mayer, Regis High valedictorian Tyler Schumacher, Regis High salutatorian

Santiam school districts have received word from the state regarding this year’s Common School Fund payments.

Oregon’s K-12 public schools will receive a record $74.2 million from the Common School Fund in 2024, state officials announced March 20. All of Oregon’s 197 public school districts receive money from the Common School Fund annually. How much each district receives depends on the number of students served.

The Santiam Canyon School District, which includes Mill City, Gates, Detroit and Idanha, is receiving $131,747 from the fund, down a bit from the $134,572 in 2023 and the $155,976 in 2022. The North Santiam School District, which includes Stayton, Sublimity, Mehama, Lyons and the North Fork/Elkhorn Valley area, received $290,645, up from $270,959 in 2023 and $241,057 in 2022.

“The funds received from the Common School Fund are integral to supporting our district’s general fund operational

needs,” North Santiam School District superintendent Lee Loving told Our Town. “This includes various expenses related to each student’s education, such as instructional materials, technology upgrades, and facility maintenance.”

Loving noted that “allocations from the Common School Fund vary, but our district has seen an increase in funds over the past three fiscal years. We proactively manage these fluctuations by closely monitoring the disbursements and making adjustments as needed to ensure our budget remains aligned with our operational requirements.”

Loving said that the school fund payments play a definite role in the district’s budget process.“Budgeting for Common School Fund payments involves a strategic approach,” he said. “We start by using the amount received in the previous fiscal year as a baseline and then make adjustments during the current budget year as necessary. Since the funds are disbursed in two installments within the fiscal year, the first payment serves as an indicator of

the total allocation. This allows us to make timely adjustments if the actual payment differs from our initial estimates.”

The school funds are treated a bit differently in the Santiam Canyon district.

“Because the Common School Fund is a source of local revenue, it is included in the total formula for the State School Fund,” SCSD Superintendent Todd Miller said. “A decrease in local revenue would result in an increase in State School Fund dollars or an increase in local revenue would result in a decrease of State School Fund payments. Because of this relationship, changes in the Common School Funds don’t directly change our overall funding.

million in 2022.

The Common School Fund has supported Oregon schools since statehood in 1859, when the federal government granted the new state nearly 3.4 million acres “for the use of schools.” The State Land Board was established to oversee these school lands, which generate revenue for the fund.

Now valued at $2.3 billion, the Common School Fund is invested by the state Treasurer and the Oregon Investment Council. The fund earned an average 5.4% percent rate of return over the three-year period ending in December 2023.

“(And) since these funds are part of the overall funding for the schools, they are used for staffing, facilities, curriculum and instruction and activities. We have seen slight continual reductions in the Common School Fund, but next year is projected to be higher.”

State figures are up substantially. The fund disbursed $72.2 million in 2023 and $64.2

“We’re incredibly pleased with the Common School Fund’s performance in recent years under Treasury’s management. These sustained returns will allow us to send a record-setting amount to Oregon public schools,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this will have on students across the state, from increased resources in the classroom to facility improvements.”

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Ag update Cascade gets grant for new ‘learning hub’

The Cascade School District will be able to construct a new agricultural learning hub after receiving $190,000 in Oregon Department of Education funding.

The career and technical education revitalization grant will give a big boost to the district’s ability to weave agricultural education through every school in the district, officials said.

“We are very excited about this grant and what it will do for our students at Cascade High School,” district communications director Gregg Koskela told Our Town

The planned Agriculture Learning Hub represents “what we call our entire vision for Agriculture Education (AgEd),” Koskela said.

“It includes high school classes, FFA, as well as connections with our elementary students. Justin Brill is our AgEd teacher at the high school, and he has big visions for the program, (including) connecting

with many willing community partners, getting hands-on training for our students, offering places for elementary students to come grow pumpkins and other produce, and to see animals and

learn to care for them. We currently have 250 different high school students taking classes in AgEd.”

The grant will allow Cascade to tear down an old barn at the high school

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Continued from page 9

and replace it with a

the school’s 6-acre ag property.

pole barn

“It will be accessible to all students,” Koskela said, “and provide a place we don’t currently have for classes, demonstrations, and for businesses and community partners to come in and teach our students.”

Redtail Excavation of Turner is donating its services to tear down the old barn, “but timing is unknown at this point,” Koskela said regarding when the new facility will be ready “We are waiting on permits and bid info before we know the timetable, but we are working as quickly as possible.”

The new facility, Koskela said, also will allow the AgEd group to look outward into the community more.

“We will increase our ability to host community events and expand industry partnerships, in addition to providing an additional space for learning,” he said. “We can expand our community-wide agriculture education through events such as ag safety days for youth and tractor certification, as well as new and expanded partnerships with other local educational institutions.”

The Cascade grant was one of 31 that was issued statewide, The grants totaled $7.6 million and ranged from a $65,000 award for Condon High School in Gilliam County to $500,000 for firefighting and EMT training in the Sheridan district.

Santiam Hospital Fun Run celebrates 35th anniversary

The Santiam Hospital & Clinics fun runs and health walks are set for Saturday, June 1 in Stayton.

This will be the 35th rendition of the event, which has grown to include four offerings, a 5-kilometer walk and 3K, 5K and 10K runs.

All events start at 8:30 a.m. at the hospital, 1401 N. 10th Ave. The finish lines also are at the hospital.

Events cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Race-day registration and packet pickup begins at 7 a.m. on June 1.

A family of four can register for $40, with the entrance fee including free T-shirts. Music, food, keepsakes, beverages and a beer garden will be on-site for post race celebrations.

– James Day

SIT teams get $50,000 grant

James Day

Linn County has awarded a $50,000 grant to Santiam Hospital & Clinics to assist the hospital’s service integration teams in Scio and the Santiam Canyon.

The funds, hospital integrated health and outreach officials say, will help support the integration team program for the 2024-25 fiscal year which begins July 1. The teams will use the money for support, prevention and resiliency, said Kim Dwyer, coordinator of the integration teams.

“Linn County has been a strong collaborative partner within the Santiam Service Integration Program,” Dwyer said in a news release. “The relationships we have built between county employees and other team partners are a valuable asset when we work together to assist our communities.”

Dwyer said that the funds will be used to leverage the Santiam Canyon and the Scio team funds to assist with household needs. The Santiam Service Integration Program has helped more than 340 individuals and families in the communities of the North Santiam, Santiam Canyon, Cascade, and Scio school districts for the fiscal year 2023-2024. The funding, officials said, will allow Santiam Service Integration to continue to provide a safety net to households in the region for the upcoming year.

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Creating backyard gardens that coexist with nature, commonly known as naturescaping, is a great way for birders to encourage the birds they love to come to them.

“It’s one of the easiest things because we’re working with what’s already here,” Ron Garst – a retired biologist for the Department of Fish and Wildlife who now volunteers with the ODFW’s Naturescaping program – said. And backyard trees are the best place to start.

Plant and Maintain Trees

“If you’re fortunate enough to have large, old trees, start protecting them,” Garst said. “But if you don’t have any, you’ll still have birds that come from your neighbor’s yard.”

Or from nearby parks and schoolyards where trees function as apartment buildings for birds with top nesters like crows sitting above mid level species like woodpeckers and ground birds like juncos.

“They offer the most diverse area of space,” Garst said of large trees like white oaks, “for birds using all different levels.”

Add Water

“The second most important feature… if you want to attract birds, is water,” Garst noted. “Water is hugely attractive. They love the sound of flowing water.”

This step might sound tricky, and it can be if you want to add a complicated fountain, but it can also be as simple as adding a small, recirculating bubbler or a bird bath that captures the rain.

“Even the classic, shallow dish, the robins, sparrows and juncos will fly up and use it,” Garst said. “Even if it’s raining the birds will fly up and take a bath.”

Plant Natives

“There are plants adapted to the local climate and soil. They have better survival and provide conditions the local wildlife is adapted to,” Garst explained. “In terms of a food source, the nectar, pollen, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries… these are natural sources.”

And native plants are easier than ever for gardeners to find.

In fact, a collaboration of conservation educators throughout Marion County created a free guide, “Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards,” that can be downloaded or requested at

Facebook.com/OurTown.SMASM Your Garden June 2024 • 1 JUNE 2024 VOL. 14, ISSUE 3

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www.oregonmetro.gov/nativeplants, and which features dozens of native plants along with the birds and insects they attract.

Feed the Birds

“A lot of people put up bird feeders, especially in the wintertime,” Garst said.

And that’s a good thing because many species overwinter in the Willamette Valley including song sparrows, juncos and even Anna’s hummingbirds.

“Black oil sunflower seeds are eaten by most birds and are easy to clean up,” Garst said when asked about the most attractive feed.

“Suet is another good one. It’s rendered fat, but most of it is sold with insect parts or seeds. That’s popular with woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches.”

And for hummingbirds a brightly colored feeder filled with sugar water is the best choice.

“If you put up a hummingbird feeder in the winter, they’ll find it,” Garst said. “But, as with any of the feeders, you need to keep it clean.”

Avoid Chemicals

“If you get rid of insects, you’ll get rid of birds,” Garst said, relaying the story of a

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Silverton, Oregon www.SilverFallsTerrariums.com

family friend whose backyard bird population dropped off after he began applying chemical insecticides and weed killers. “Literally in three to four years he said, ‘Where did all of our birds go?’”

Instead, Garst recommends using natural methods to get rid of pests and weeds.

“Let mother nature’s hand play itself out,” he said. “Because you’re doing it collaboratively.

Provide Nesting Space

“Nest boxes provide cavity spaces,” Garst said, describing a structure also commonly known as a bird house that can be mounted on a pole or even attached to a tree. “Many of our birds

are cavity nesters and cavities are by and large missing because we don’t allow snags.”

But to attract birds, structure and location are key. Specific plans and tips can be found on the National Wildlife Federation’s website,  www.nwf.org.


Now that the birds have started using your backyard as a part of their habitat, it’s time to start learning their names. Thankfully, there are dozens of easy-to-use identification apps including iNaturalist and Merlin Bird ID, which allow users to identify birds both by sight and sound and there are bird books and brochures like Sibley’s Backyard Birds for those who prefer to leave their phones behind.

“And you can participate in [Project] FeederWatch,” Garst said, referencing the annual data collection program by Cornell University that takes place between Nov. 1 and April 30 that allows backyard birders to monitor which birds they are seeing.

“Thousands of people do that,” Garst said. “They are participating and contributing to citizen science.” Right in their own backyards.

The Best Plan is To Plan Ahead

When putting in a garden or new landscaping it’s easy to get ahead of yourself by simply buying plants and putting them in wherever there’s room. But that kind of haphazard horticulture can quickly become problematic according to Ben Hare, owner of Garden City Landscapes in Silverton.

“If you don’t have a plan, your landscaping will come out disorganized and unappealing,” Hare said. “You may also find yourself wasting time, money, and resources on mistakes that could have been easily avoided by making a detailed plan in advance.”

One of the most common errors novice gardeners make is not looking to the future.

“In terms of landscaping mistakes, this is a pretty major one,” Hare pointed out. “Not taking maintenance into account can lead to unnecessary expenses, wasted time, and frustration. Additionally, certain plants may require more maintenance than others. Thus, they may not be suitable for your lifestyle or budget.”

After working in landscape maintenance and design for the past 19 years, Hare has witnessed a fair share of gardens gone wrong – plants placed too close together, too close to structures or allowed to grow too big – all errors could have been avoided had the owners taken the time to design, or hire someone to

design for them, first.

“Having a landscape architect design your landscape can be very helpful for many reasons,” Hare said. “You will have a clearer idea of what the finished landscape will look like and a better idea of what to budget for. It can also be helpful when looking to get quotes from landscape contractors.”

“Just like a car or house, regular maintenance helps prevent costly repairs. For example, if shrubs become overgrown, they may not be able to be pruned and will have to be removed and replaced. If weeds get out of control it will lead to a more labor intense clean-up which can be more expense than regular weed control,” Hare added.

Once again, it all comes down to planning.

“Even if you are going to be installing your landscape in phases,” Hare said, “make sure you have an overall plan so the whole landscape looks cohesive.”

And so, get the most from your outside space.

“The options are endless,” Hare said, “but you need to prioritize…Depending on your space and budget you might be able to create a space that has it all…” But you may just need a little help.

2 • June 2024 Your Garden Facebook.com/OurTown.SMASM
Waxwing. JIM ESCH

Covering New Ground Learn what

Ground covers have been called “the next best thing to cement.”

For a more carefree, weed-free yard –barring the installation of a basketball or tennis court – try a good ground cover.

In the spirit of “going green,” we’ll explore some tried and true ground covers hardy to the mid-Willamette Valley. These plants are prized for spreading quickly, forming a dense cover that chokes out most weeds, keeps water usage to a minimum and prevents erosion. Many are able to grow – and flower –where nothing else can.

Most gardeners contend with challenging “microclimates” where temperatures, soil conditions, moisture, and/or exposure to sun or wind make it difficult for most plants to subsist.

“With ground covers the first thing you need to do is look at your location and determine whether it’s wet or dry most of the year; how much sun it gets and other considerations,” said Patti Harris who, with husband George, owns Silverton’s Garden Thyme Nursery.

A uniform carpet of ground cover provides a flowing transition between garden areas and along borders. You’ll spot them trailing from containers and crevices in rock walls, encircling stepping stones and emerging from cracks in concrete or between pavers. They can provide fragrance and attract bees, birds and butterflies, and some don’t mind foot traffic.

Of course, a grass lawn is the original groundcover. Despite the maintenance, a lawn provides things no other ground cover can. Kids gravitate to lawns for frolicking; in good weather it’s a living outdoor carpet right for lawn chairs, picnics and croquet.

Ground-covering options include herbs, ornamental grasses, succulents, perennials and low-growing woody shrubs. These may include riotous ground cover roses, the intoxicatingly fragrant dianthus or scented (hardy) geraniums.

“A ground cover that’s not used often enough is called Brass Buttons or Leptinella,” Harris said. “It forms a tight, dense mat of leaves that look like tiny ferns – and it stays nice and low so our dogs can walk across it and it’s no big deal.”

Secure steep banks or slopes with rugged, fast-growing plants, plant shallow-rooted ground covers under trees to retain moisture in and encroaching grass at

bay. Begin to think of that parched slope as though it were part of the French countryside.

“Once it’s established, something like lavender needs almost no water – perfect for a long driveway strip where you’re not going to irrigate,” Harris said, “and thyme is a great companion to it. Thyme likes the hot sun and hot soil and keeps the weeds down – and since deer don’t like the fragrance of lavender, they won’t eat the thyme.”

For a perennially soggy spot, try vinca, a fast grower able to weather almost any conditions. Harris says the variegated foliage of ‘Sunny Skies’ is plenty pretty –apart from its lovely blooms…

“Corsican mint or Irish moss will take hold where it’s shady but not too wet,” she said, “and it can handle heavy clay.”

As you can see, reading plant labels will serve you well in any gardening endeavor; further research even better. Keep an eye out for specimens toting such descriptions as “vigorous grower,” “very aggressive” –or anything with the word “rampant” in it. This may be indication of a monster in plant guise, poised to consume everything in its path. We want our ground covers to grow rapidly, self-propagate and crowd out other plants – but only those we consider weeds.

Here are some top performers that thrive in our region.

Ajuga (A. reptans), or carpet bugle, while vigorous, makes an excellent ground cover that can be controlled by periodic “discipline” – yanking out handfuls where it is unwanted. This evergreen perennial forms a 4-inch-high mat of green, bronze or variegated foliage that in spring

insignificant fruit made up for in large and/or colored flowers. Useful among perennials and below shrubs, they are delightful scrambling through rocky areas and prefer full sun and moist, welldrained soil.

Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), while commonly used in rock gardens, makes an effective ground cover just about anywhere. Its mossy foliage, two-six inches high, reaches out some 12-20 inches and in spring is alive with masses of pink, purple or white flowers. It persists in poor soil and full sun while draping itself attractively over neighboring stones. It’s creeping phlox – not creepy phlox – and wouldn’t dream of choking out its neighbors. Nestle a few handfuls of bulbs beneath its stems for a happy duet.

sends up spikes of blue, pink or white flowers. A top performer, said Harris, is ‘Burgundy Glow.’ Ajuga’s extensive root system prevents erosion in short order: Set 12-15 inches apart, ajuga can cover the ground in one season flat.

Vinca (V. major; V. minor – a.k.a. periwinkle), is a tough, easy to grow plant that’s a boon to shaded slopes, under trees and shrubs and the north side of buildings. Its evergreen foliage gets richer in partial shade, but the sun will coax out more of its lavender-blue flowers. Normally spaced 12-18 inches apart, at a distance of six inches it can produce a complete cover in a year’s span.

Ornamental strawberries, hybrids of the strawberry family (Fragaria), are low, spreading plants that produce small,

Epimedium thrives in dry shade, blanketing the garden through the year in the subtle, changing hues of its sturdy heart-shaped leaves, each held aloft on its own sturdy stem. Its low-growing habit and delicate flowers work wonders in otherwise bare areas beneath trees and shrubs. Depending on type, it grows five-24 inches high and eight inches to three feet in width.

Creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) always looks great, its woody stems decked in needle-shaped leaves of blue and green. This vigorous grower is capable of covering a large area with foliage 1-2 feet high and is made for hot, dry situations. Excellent for slopes and bank, plant them 5-6 feet apart. For faster results, set them 3-4 feet apart, prune growing tips lightly, and when they begin to crowd, remove every other one.

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best in these parts GROUNDED LOCALLY, GROWING GENERATIONS Woodburn • Sherwood • Gresham • Wilsonville | als-gardencenter.com
Leptinella squalida (New Zealand Brass Buttons). BRENNA WIEGAND

Still Time to Plant

It’s only June and there is still time to plant a garden if you’re one of the many who didn’t get it done last month. The summer is expected to last long into fall, so the growing season will still be long enough for lots of flowers and vegetables. There are some tips for success in warmer weather.

Instead of plowing soil and bringing dormant weed seeds to light, consider planting in containers or small raised beds filled with compost or a potting mix. Planters will heat up less if painted a light color; black pots can become kettles that cook roots. Containers for flowers or vegetables can be almost anything that holds soil, but the deeper the better. How about turning that old barbeque into a unique planter? Have any scraps of lumber three feet long or longer that can be cobbled together with braces at the corners to make a lettuce box? Tuck some radish seeds in there too, for a salad in about three weeks. One zucchini is enough for most families, and it could thrive in a container if you put it near a water source. Potatoes sprouting? Bury them in big pots. After the foliage grows up and dies down, just up-end the pot on a tarp and pick out the little spuds.

It’s not too late to plant. Some greens that tend to bolt and flower in heat can be planted under a shady tree if they have a raised bed of fresh soil that does not compete with the tree roots. Most common vegetables enjoy sunny days if

they have enough water. Planting near a water source makes caring for them easier for the gardener. A little shade cloth cover is appreciated by plants, and keeps the deer from nibbling them too.

Cucumbers, melons, squashes and many more can be planted successfully by seed in warm soil, three seeds to a hill. Try new varieties like lemon cucumbers, Minnesota midget melons, spaghetti squash, little pie pumpkins or other interesting things to watch and add to your menus. Kids can be involved in growing fun things, then they will be more likely to eat them too. Tomatoes and peppers need longer growing times from seed, but if you missed the rush at the garden store there may still be time to start some seeds of varieties that have shorter harvest times on the package, like patio tomatoes. Forecasts suggest that we’ll have good growing conditions well into October.

If vegetables are not on the planting list, brighten your life with colorful flowers. Annuals are going on sale everywhere because they need to get into the ground before the little grower’s pots get rootbound. Annual flowers that reseed themselves and come up again next year will save money in future years, but need to be placed where they won’t become a nuisance. Perennials that die back in winter and surface again in the spring are popular with gardeners who prefer “one and done” without repeating the whole planting process every year.

Gardening and watching plants grow are great therapy in many ways. Everyone can have a little garden of some kind to nurture and enjoy through the summer. It’s time now to plan the fall garden that can be planted in July and August.

These may be planted elsewhere. In Shakepeare’s day, they used sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) to make May wine. With fragrant, lasting blooms and leaves that smell like hay when crushed, it continues to delight the senses. Despite its delicate appearance and well-mannered clumps, sweet woodruff is tough and well suited to wooded areas. It will spread as far as you let it, rarely getting over a foot high.

Pachysandra, or Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis) is an evergreen sub shrub that adds to the mystery of a shaded landscape and is one of the few plants that will grow satisfactorily under evergreens and in dense shade. It makes a good transition between walks or lawns and attains a uniform height of ten inches in deep shade; six inches where it’s dappled. Rich green leaves tinged purple produce occasional clusters of tiny, offwhite blossoms of little ornamental value.

Lamium (Lamium maculatum) is an excellent, easy care groundcover. Most types produce clusters of pink or white flowers through the summer, but even when not in bloom, lamium’s 8-inchhigh, silver-marked foliage can really brighten up a shady corner.

Let us never forget Sedum, a member of the succulent family encompassing more than 300 species and 500 cultivars ranging from inch-high mats to twofoot specimens like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’ The group brings a wealth of foliage colors to the table: red-tinged greens; blood reds; vivid yellows, blues, bronzes – and a spectrum of greens. Mix and match them for an intriguing quilt to blanket your garden, borders, slopes

and stepping stones. With its cactus-like water-storing leaves, sedums are of the rare breed that continues to shine through the dog days of summer and most will root from broken branches or fallen leaves. All they ask in return is a place where their “feet” aren’t mired in moisture.

Ornamental grasses add texture, architecture, year-round interest and movement to the landscape while decisively combating erosion. With heights ranging from under one foot (blue fescue) to over 10 feet (fountain and maiden grasses), myriad colors and forms, chances are ornamental grasses will have a member to fit any landscape situation, many of the statuesque varieties worthy of specimen plant status.

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is best known for the way a drop of dew sparkles when cradled in one of its downy leaves. In early summer, expect clusters of chartreuse blooms. The plant prefers sun to part shade and well-drained soil, but can hang in there against overwhelming odds, though its growth will be stunted.

Grandmother’s quirky hens-andchicks (Sempervivum) once tumbling from a pair of Grandpa’s old boots were precursors to a dazzling array of descendants. These range from tiny to large; smooth or fuzzy; green, red, bronze and more. They remain among the most carefree groundcovers and in full sun and well-drained soil will thrive and send little chicks of their own into the world. This succulent is a perfect companion for sedums and is at its best in rock gardens and crevices – both horizontal and vertical.

4 • June 2024 Your Garden Facebook.com/OurTown.SMASM
GROUND COVER continued from page 3 503.393.1506 at the corner of Cordon & Hazelgreen Roads Largest Selection of Heirloom & Modern Tomato Plants in the Mid-Valley Also Available: Basil, Berry, Cuke, Herb, Lavender, Pepper & Squash Starts Bringing you the bounty of the Willamette Valley since 1929 ezorchards.com | Find us on: Godfrey 503-749-2613 • OPEN DAILY 9-6 Family owned & operated • 8834 Shaw Square Rd. SE, Shaw I-5 Exit 253 • East on Hwy 22 to Exit 7, left one mi. to Shaw Square, 1/2 mile to nursery www.GodfreyNursery.com | follow us on facebook! Godfrey Nursery Inc. Godfrey Nursery Inc. • Beautiful Hanging Baskets (thousands to choose from!) • Gorgeous Patio Pots • Perennials • Plants • Geraniums • Basket Starts • Vegetables & Herbs • Soils & Fertilizer • Garden Accessories & Art • Beautiful Hanging Baskets • • Perennials Plants • Basket Starts • Vegetables & • Soils • Garden Accessories & Art Vinca ‘Pacifica

Lincoln’s Light Scio family shines light on son’s rare genetic disorder

When Jordan Medeiros – a hospice nurse from Scio – was 20 weeks pregnant with her first child, an anatomy scan showed that the left side of her son’s brain was enlarged. Subsequently given the diagnosis of ventriculomegaly – a problem that occurs in an estimated one percent of pregnancies – Jordan and her husband, Cody, embarked on a round of testing.

“We did pretty much everything they recommended,” Jordan said recalling the eventual prognosis – that the baby had approximately an eight percent chance of severe impairment but beyond that… doctors simply could not say.

“We expected he would be behind,” Jordan said of the months following their son Lincoln’s birth in January 2021, “which he was, but not overly.”

Then, at six months, Lincoln’s outlook began to change. His head growth began to slow, leading to a diagnosis of microcephaly – a condition that often affects brain development. An MRI scan at OHSU revealed more and deeper crevices in his brain and doctors began looking further afield for a cause.

“They said, maybe we should do genetic testing,” Jordan remembered.

What they discovered came as a shock to everyone – including Lincoln’s doctor.

“The neurologist was like, ‘I’ve never heard of this,’” Cody recalled. “He said, before you came in, ‘I Googled it.’ And we were talking to the lead neurologist at OHSU!”

But it didn’t take long for the couple to find out why the test results had given the doctor pause. Diagnosed with spastic paraplegia 50 (SPG50) – a slowly progressing neurologic disorder that affects speech, head size, motor control and muscle tone – Lincoln became only the 100th person ever known to inherit the disease.

“It’s a degenerative condition and it’s not just physical, it affects mental [capabilities] as well,” Jordan said. “It starts with low [muscle] tone in infancy – Lincoln had really low core tone – and

progresses to tightness and paraplegia,” usually by age 10.

“We’ve been fortunate with Lincoln, his symptoms are mild,” Jordan continued. But at the age of three, Lincoln is already being fitted for the braces that might one day be necessary for him to continue walking.

“You don’t think about genetics,” Jordan said, referring to the enormous improbability that both she and Cody would be carriers of gene mutation that causes SPG50, and that Lincoln would inherit both copies of the gene.

“It’s extremely rare odds,” she said. “He had a 25 percent chance of inheriting the same mutation.”

It’s the same chance his sister, Kennedy – only a few months old when Lincoln received his diagnosis – had. But, fortunately, her testing has since shown that she is only a carrier.

“But how many other families are going through something similar...?” Jordan wondered.

It’s a question that is difficult to answer with only three other children – two of them siblings – are currently diagnosed with the disorder in the United States.

“The advice was to get on Facebook and get on groups,” Cody said, recalling the guidance they received after Lincoln’s diagnosis. “But they’re small groups.”

And they all led to one person, Terry Pirovolakis, a Canadian systems engineer who, when his son, Michael, was diagnosed with SPG50 on April 2, 2019, quit his job. He fundraised $3 million and began searching for a cure.

“He went to a convention for orphan diseases – conditions so rare they can’t get pharmaceutical (companies) to research it,” Jordan said. “Then he made a ‘wanted’ sign and found the world’s top researchers.”

With the help of an international team of doctors and scientists, Pirovolakis created Elpida Therapeutics – a nonprofit whose name means “hope.” In a matter of months the team accomplished what had previously seemed impossible, they developed a gene therapy drug for SPG50 –which they coined Melpida in honor of Michael. On March 24, 2022, he became the first person ever to receive the treatment.

“It’s mind-blowing, what he’s done,” Jordan said. “Because so far, the results are promising. They notice less spasticity and his muscles are relaxing.”

Still in the clinical trial stage, Melpida is just one of five Elpida therapies the company hopes to roll out in the next five years.

“The concept is you get a good copy [of the AP4M1 gene] to slow it down,”

Jordan explained. Because there are 80 subtypes of the disease, the development of therapy could potentially help much more than just the current SPG50 diagnosed population.

“There’s a whole gamut of conditions related,” Cody confirmed.

But for now, the focus is on SPG50, with two additional children receiving treatment thus far. Lincoln hoping to be the next.

“Time is not on our side,” Jordan said. Which is why the couple created a website, www.lincolnslight.org, with information about SPG50 and ways to help.

“Research and drug development is an expensive, lengthy process,” Jordan wrote on the website. “It is difficult to obtain funding and support from large pharmaceutical companies as ultra-rare diseases are seen as a market that is not financially beneficial. For perspective, one dose of Melpida costs $250,000 to $300,000 to manufacture.”

With the company hoping to roll out eight to 12 doses of the drug in the next trial, the need for funding is high.

“We want to keep this trajectory moving forward,” Jordan wrote. “We don’t want Lincoln, or any other child with SPG50, to get left behind.”

To donate or find out more information about SPG50 and other related disorders, visit www.lincolnslight.com, email contact@lincolnslight.org or call 509-557-2235.

Facebook: OurTown / Santiam ourtownsantiam.com June 2024 • 11
whitney@silvertonrealty.com mike@silve rtonrealty.com 303 Oak St. Silverton • www.SilvertonRealty.com Whitney & Mike Ulven, Brokers Licensed in the State of Oregon. “Whitney and Mike are absolutely amazing to work with, prompt, professional, kind, and courteous. So grateful to have Whitney and Mike as my Silverton and Salem experts!!!” —C. Angel Whitney & Mike Ulven cell: 503-705-6118 Have Whitney and Mike Ulven of Silverton Realty lead you on your journey home!
Think About
Lincoln Medeiros. JORDAN MEDEIROS
Something to

How My Father Got Pranked by God By

Since Father ’s Day is coming up on the 16th of June, I thought it would be good to tell a story about my own Dad. Eugene Harris was a good man by most measures. He worked hard at the Frigidaire Plant near Dayton, Ohio and provided well for my mother and his three kids. Most of our social life orbited around the Union Hall where my father was active as a Union Member

My father would not have anything to do with Christianity, even though it was the most important thing in my mother ’s life. Dad had been offended when some folks in a Sunday School class at the Baptist Church innocently laughed at his attempt to pronounce a few difficult Old Testament names. He was embarrassed and swore secretly to never return. It broke my mother ’s heart and it ushered her into nearly fifty years of trying to maintain peace with her unbelieving man.

Gregg Harris, “Just a sinner saved by grace!”

Fast Forward to the Mid-70s

After retiring from Frigidaire, my father was able to do what he had always wanted to do: own and train his own harness race horse. Its name was Geadon Creek. In harness racing the jockey is pulled behind his horse in a sulky cart. My father loved horse racing and this was his dream come true.

At that time I was about to move to Harlingen, Texas to lead a church planting team. My dad and I were standing out by the training coral watching Geadon Creek go through his paces when my dad spoke.

“I tell you what I’m gonna do, Gregg. I’m gonna send you 10% of whatever that colt wins to help you in your little church down there in Texas.”

“Thanks dad.” I responded. Now 10% of nothing would be nothing and the odds of an inexperienced race horse winning anything within three years was nigh impossible. So, I just smiled and thanked him for his generosity. I could tell by the twinkle in his eye that it was all just a joke. But we announced the deal to the family that night at dinner table and everyone had a good laugh.

So, off to Texas we went with just $750. That was quickly gone and though the new church was growing, it could not afford to support us. So I found a job painting billboards. But a few weeks into that I received an envelope in the mail with a check for $1,500! Attached was a note from my mom. "Gleadon Creek won his first race! Don’t worry. I won't let daddy forget what he promised.” In 1976, $1500 was a lot of money. But two weeks later we got a check for $3,000. “Don’t worry.” Mom wrote. “I’m not letting Daddy bet. This is just the purse.”

My church plant was being supported by horse racing! I didn’t know what to think, but I was glad to see my father succeeding in his new venture. It must have been thrilling. The checks just kept coming and so I was able quit my sign-painting job to put my full time into evangelism and pastoral care. The church grew up to around 75 by the end of that year

As we served in the church, my wife and I began to realize that my lack of a High School education was a real hindrance to my ministry. I had my Bible College degree, but that left major gaps in my understanding of many things. So, after much prayer, we decided to return to Ohio so that I could go to college. We arranged to merge our little congregation of new Christians into a much larger Bible believing church there in Harlingen, and started making our plans to move back home.

“Dang it,” he thought, “God has a great sense .” He realized that as long as his crazy Christian son needed the money, his horse was going to beat all the odds and win over and over again. But as soon as his son was moving back home, the party was over. “Dang!” he thought. “What do you think of that?” In that moment my father bowed his head and prayed. He asked God to forgive him, not only for his sins in general, but for his sin of being so proud and so stubborn as to vow never to go to church again.

He had known the gospel all along. He had grown up in Birmingham, Alabama and was surrounded by Christians who constantly talked about what one must do to be saved.

My father knew that Jesus Christ is God the Son. He knew that Jesus came into this world to live the perfect life that we were all supposed to live, but haven’t. He knew that we have all sinned against God by rebelling against Him and that Jesus died the terrible death that we all deserve for our rebellion.

““Dang it,” he thought, “God has a great sense of humor.” He realized that as long as his crazy Christian son needed the money, his horse was going to beat all the odds and win over and over again. But as soon as his son was moving back home, the party was over.”

That’s When Disaster Struck!

Within a few weeks of making that decision Gleadon Creek sprained an ankle during a race. How could this happen?! My father proceeded to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars of his winnings into trying to rehabilitate his horse, but all to no avail. Eventually, Gleadon Creek was “put out for stud” as they say. With his winning record he continued to be a profitable asset for my father, but the thrill of standing in the Winner ’s Circle was over. It was wonderful while it lasted, but then it was just a memory

Dad Is Diagnosed With Cancer

Many years later, my father received the diagnosis that he had stage-4 liver cancer He immediately went into the hospital for treatment. As he told the story, while lying in his hospital bed he began to laugh.

My father knew all along that Jesus rose from the dead as proof that His sacrifice worked. He knew all this but he just never believed it. But then, in that hospital room, with just nine months left to live, he believed. He laughed and cried and then laughed some more as he was born again into the family and kingdom of God. When my father called my mom that night he said he was so sorry for not coming to Christ sooner, and that now he was going to try to make it up to her

Welcome to Your New Husband!

For the first time in their marriage my mom and dad prayed together. My dad started telling all of his union buddies the story of Gleadon Creek and how God had such a great sense of humor. Now he was a happily born-again believer in Jesus Christ.

My mother told me, after Dad had passed, that those were the happiest nine months of her marriage. Now she could look forward to being with him forever in heaven.

I didn’t get to be there when my father died. I was there for the military funeral. (My father was a Marine who earned a Purple Heart for his service in the South Pacific. He lost his

hearing in one ear when a shell went off as he stormed Okinawa.) The funny thing is, I never knew he was deaf on his right side until I was 40 years old. I always thought he was just ignoring what I said. As a child I hated him for that. It was only when I got him to open up and tell a few stories of his life to my kids that I realized I was living with a hero.

Try Celebrating With Stories

This Father ’s Day, why not set aside some time to gather all the kids and the grandkids to honor your father and/or grandfather for whatever you can be grateful. No father is perfect. But by asking questions and listening to their stories, you’ll gain better perspective. Keep it light, but If painful emotions do arise, don’t shut down. Instead press in to a place of understanding and forgiveness. Think of all that you need to be forgiven for, and then grant the same forgiveness to your father

The Noble Men of Oregon are all fathers. We come from various churches, but we gather each Thursday morning at 5:30 to 7 am at 409 S. Water St. to pray together and plan how to have an impact on our town for Christ. If you’re a guy, and you like what we are doing, man up! You’re invited to join our team and help make good things happen.

2 FREE TICKETS Family-Friendly Movie The Palace Theater Tuesday, June 11th Showing Back to the Future Rated PG, 7PM First Come, First Served. Bring Friends!

Join Us for Our New Weekly Lunch-time Prayer Meeting!

Every Tuesday from 12:05 to 12:55 PM at The Den, 311 N. Water St., Silverton Bring your lunch and join area business men and women alike to meet, eat and pray together for God’s blessing and provision. Men Only are still invited to our Thurs. 5:30-7 AM Noble Men’s Breakfast at 409 S. Water Street every week. Please RSVP by text to 971-370-0967.

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Verdict stands

PacifiCorp Phase II challenge denied

A $37.6 million jury award has survived a challenge by PacifiCorp in an ongoing wildfire lawsuit as parties tussle over the future of more than 1,000 pending claims for damages.

On May 23 Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Steffan Alexander denied a motion by the company to throw out the verdict in the second damages trial of James et al vs. PacifiCorp

In his order, Alexander sided with plaintiffs who argued there was ample evidence for the jury to award damages, and that PacifiCorp had not demonstrated its process rights were violated.

This was the third verdict to survive a PacifiCorp challenge in the lower courts, including a $94.7 million award from June 12, 2023, and a $79.7 million award from Jan. 24.

The company has appealed these outcomes to the Oregon Court of Appeals and on May 29 notified the court the third verdict has been incorporated into its appeal originally filed Jan. 4. Opening briefs had yet to be filed in the appeal as of press time and no hearing dates were set.

Meanwhile plaintiffs have requested trials for an additional 1,046 fire survivors seeking a combined $44.5 billion in damages, according to mass filings on April 29 and May 16.

On May 10 PacifiCorp filed a motion to strike the first round of 1,000 complaints as “sham” filings meant to publicly embarrass the company due to the high damages figure. In an opposition filing May 28 plaintiffs argued if PacifiCorp is embarrassed, this was the result of its own actions that caused the fires and is not grounds to dismiss the complaints.

As of press time no hearing on the motion nor additional trials were set.

PacifiCorp was found liable during the 2023 trial for negligently causing the Santiam, Echo Mountain Complex, South Obechain and 242 fires on Sept. 7, 2020. The jury determined PacifiCorp acted willfully and recklessly when it chose to keep its electric grid energized during high heat and wind conditions, despite warnings from state fire officials.

After this initial liability phase, Phase II

began to determine damages to a class of roughly 5,000 fire survivors. According to the recent mass filings of claims, survivors of the Santiam Fire make up roughly two thirds of class members.

In its motion challenging the mass filings, PacifiCorp said the “jaw-dropping” damages requested by plaintiffs were an unfair attempt to generate negative press. The initial filings were less than a week from a May 4 shareholder meeting of parent company Berkshire Hathaway. News of the filings was reported by national media.

PacifiCorp also argued the complaints themselves were invalid, noting they were “short-form” and contained few details of actual losses. The company also noted the uniform damages requested by all plaintiffs whether they were adults or minor children or spouses of those who already received damages in prior trials.

On May 28 plaintiffs said, even if PacifiCorp’s concerns were valid, none of these issues justify throwing out the claims.  Plaintiffs said they could not help the timing of Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting and the April 29 filing had more to do with unsuccessful mediation talks on April 23. They also said shareholders have a right to know the details of litigation pending against the company.

Plaintiffs additionally argued the new claims follow the same format and formula as short-form complaints filed for the two prior Phase II trials, to which PacifiCorp did not object. Plaintiffs said PacifiCorp specifically requested the use of short-form complaints at the outset of Phase II as an efficient means to move the case along and is only just now opposed to them.

Robby Don Young II

April 15, 2004 – March 2, 2024

Robby Don Young II passed away on March 2, 2024. He was born to Robby Young and Cerynthia Murphy on April 15, 2004, in Salem, Oregon.

Robby attended Aumsville Elementary and Stayton Middle School. He earned his high school diploma from Sprague High School in June of 2022. Robby enjoyed his friends, loved his family, and appreciated the outdoors.

He is preceded in death by his father, Robby Young, and was followed in death by his mother, Cerynthia Murphy. He is survived by his step-father, Alan Kingsley; paternal grandmother, Debby Ballard; maternal grandparents, Connie Brown and Danny (Sandee) Murphy; brothers, Justin and Michael Young; aunts, Anita DeVilliers and Niki Johnson (Craig Whitney); uncle, Shaun Young; and numerous extended family and friends.

Cerynthia Jean Murphy

Jan. 28, 1969 – March 12, 2024

Cerynthia Jean Murphy lost her battle with brain cancer and passed away on March 12, 2024. She was born to Danny Murphy and Connie Brown on Jan. 28, 1969 in Portland, Oregon.

Cerynthia attended Sprague High School. She worked as a Qualification Analyst serving the State of Oregon Health Licensing division for nearly 28 years.

Cerynthia’s hobbies included her love for gardening, DIY projects, kayaking, crafting, camping, playing cards and spending time with family and friends. She was preceded in death by her son, Robby Don Young II. She is survived by her parents, Danny (Sandee) Murphy and Connie Brown, and sisters, Anita DeVilliers and Niki Johnson (Craig Whitney).


Facebook: OurTown / Santiam ourtownsantiam.com June 2024 • 13 Update
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Frequent Address

Stayton Community Center, 400 W Virginia St.

Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave.

Weekly Events


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. Also, Wed. & Fri. $3 donation suggested. Ginger, 503-769-7995.


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

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 KingstonJordan Road, Stayton. 50 and older. 503-767-2009

Stayton Farmers Market, 3 - 7 p.m., 138 N Third Ave. Fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, breads, pastries, honey, candles, soaps, sunscreen, bath bombs and more. Free admission. downtownstayton.org


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.


Aumsville Saturday Market, 9 a.m.2 p.m., Porter Boone Park, 1105 Main St. Fruits, veggies, crafts and more. Free admission. 503-749-2030

Aumsville Historical Society, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 599 Main St. Come in during open hours or make an appointment by calling Ted Shepard, president, 503-881-5087.

Revival Youth Hangout, 5 - 6:30 p.m., New Hope Community Church, 657 N Second Ave., Stayton. Youth of the area are welcome. Follow “Revival_ Heartbeat” on Instagram and Tiktok. revivalheartbeat@gmail.com

Monday, June 3

Military Sexual Trauma Support

6 - 7:30 p.m. Zoom. For those who have served in the military, Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve members who have experienced military sexual trauma. Group facilitated by veterans, former service members with shared experience. Info: info@ namimultnomah.org, 503-228-5692. Repeats June 17.

Stayton City Council

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. The council will also hold public hearings on State Shared Revenues and 24/35 Fiscal Year Budget. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Tuesday, June 4

Stayton Parks and Rec Board

6 p.m., Stayton Planning Building, 311 N Third Ave. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-769-3425

Wednesday, June 5

Caregiver Connection

1 - 2:30 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

Cascade High Graduation

7 p.m., Cascade High, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner.

Thursday, June 6

Music on the Lawn

5:30 - 8 p.m., The Oregon Garden, 879 W Main St., Silverton. Live music, food, drinks, after-hours admission to The Garden. $10/age 13+. $5 garden members, $50 season pass. Ages 12 and under free. Tickets and lineup at oregongarden.org.

Preserving Herbs

6 - 8 p.m., Scio Public Library, 38957 NW First Ave. Free class on how to preserve herbs taught by Master Gardener and Master Food Preservers. Open to all. 541-730-3471

Friday, June 7

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: 503-7691120, familybuildingblocks.org.

Stayton High Graduation

7 p.m., Salem Armory, 2310 NE 17th St.

Saturday, June 8

Flea Market

9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1140 Fifth St., Lyons. Crafts, collectibles. Lunch available. Free admission, parking. For information on table rentals, call 503-859-2161

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.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Birthday

11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Gordon House, 869 W Main St., Silverton. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the Usonian home for the special price of $5/adult. Entry for those under 18 is free. Tour guides will be on hand to tell stories and answer questions. 503-874-6006, thegordonhouse.org

Corn Festival Coronation

1 p.m., Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St., Aumsville. Aumsville Corn Festival princess coronation. Open to all. Bring chairs. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Sunday, June 9

Brown House Tour

Noon - 2 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Tour the historic Charles and Martha Brown House. $5/person. Children under 18 are free. For a special reserved guided tour, call 503-769-8860.

Monday, June 10

Sublimity City Council

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

Stayton Fire District Board

6 p.m.,. Stayton Fire Station, 1988 W Ida St. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-769-2601, staytonfire.org

Aumsville Planning Commission

6:30 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Open to the public. Agenda available. 503-749-2030

Lyons Fire District Board

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

Tuesday, June 11

Ancestry Detectives

10 a.m. - noon, Silver Falls Library. Meet with speakers about Brick Wall Breaking. Details at ancestrydetectives.org/ schedule. Membership: Kathy Valdez, 503-508-4251

Wheels of Change

Noon - 1 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Monthly education series on lifestyle modifications for common health. Topics include nutrition, diabetes, depression, anxiety and stress, pain management and more. Light snacks provided. Register at bit.ly/49dcow9. CHW@santiamhospital.org

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, June 12

Canyon Garden Club

1 - 3 p.m., Santiam Community Garden, 846 Fifth St., Lyons. First meeting is free, then dues are $20/year. If you need a ride, call Cheryl at 503-767-2248 or Rosemary at 503-769-2571.

Summer Kick-Off

4 - 7 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St. Live band 5 - 6 p.m. Food trucks, snow cones, face paint, helicopter. Free admission. 503-769-2171

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

6 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Board of trustees’ meeting. Open to public. 503-769-8860

Thursday, June 13

Red Cross Blood Drive

10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Visit redcrossblood.org for appointments.

14 • June 2024 ourtownsantiam.com Facebook: OurTown / Santiam

Aumsville Food Pantry

Noon - 4 p.m., Bethel Baptist Church, 645 Cleveland St., Aumsville. Open to people in need of food items. Repeats June 27. 503-749-2128

Aumsville Fire District

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

LGBTQ+ Peer Support

7 - 8:30 p.m. Zoom. Peer-led young adult support group for LGBTQ2SIA+ individuals ages 18-30. Free on drop-in basis. Sponsored by National Alliance on Mental Illness. Visit tinyurl.com/yalgbtqgroup to register. Repeats June 27.

Sunday, June 16

Father’s Day

Silverton Strawberry Festival

11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Coolidge McClaine Park, Silverton. 73rd annual event featuring a strawberry delight with biscuits and ice cream. $8/each. $15/for 2. Shortcake is free for children 2 and under and seniors 80 and older. homerdavenport.com

Monday, June 17

Stayton City Council

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Agenda available. The council will also hold public hearings on State Shared Revenues and 24/35 Fiscal Year Budget. 503-769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

NSSD Board

5:30 p.m., District Office, 1155 N First Ave. Budget hearing and regular board meeting for North Santiam School District. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-769-6924, nsantiam.k12.or.us

Saturday, June 22

SVPC Golf Tournament

Saturday, June 15

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

Daddy Dash

10 a.m., Mt. Angel Public Library. Run with your dad, your grad, your friend, your family or by yourself. $40/10K and 5K run/walk. $15/Kid’s Run. Fee includes a glass of beer or wine at the finish line. Includes $3 coupon for participating Mt. Angel shops and restaurants. Kids/babies are free. Shirt included while supplies last. 50% of proceeds will go to the Bizon family to help with Sawyer’s medical bills. Sign-up at discovermtangel.org/ daddydash.

Art Show Registration

11 a.m. - noon, Coolidge McClaine Park, Silverton. Registration for the second annual People’s Art in the Park, scheduled for July 13 at Silverton Arts Center. Cost is $25 for a 10x10 space to show and sell hand-made creations –clothing, knitting, woodwork, ceramics, paintings. Joe Craig, 503-873-8779. Sponsored by Silverton Arts Association. Smokin’ in the Canyon

11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Church Park, 393 E Main St., Sublimity. Enjoy and judge different meats, purchase from local vendors, order a meal from a food truck, enjoy good music. To enter the BBQ contest, contact Justin, justin.jones@ smokininthecanyon.com or 503-269-6857.

Lyons Neighborhood Watch

7 - 8 p.m., Lyons City Hall, 449 Fifth St. Open to all. 503-859-2167

Tuesday, June 18

Alzheimer’s Seminar

1 - 2 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Understanding and responding to dementia-related behaviors. Free. Register at alz.org/crf or 800-272-3900. Stayton Summer Reading Kick Off 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Celebrate the start of this year’s summer reading program for all ages. Free. 503-769-3313

North Santiam Watershed Council

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

Wednesday, June 19


Dementia Care Conversations

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.

Thursday, June 20

Tidepool Tango

11 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Join the Oregon Coast Aquarium for a tidepoolthemed dance party. Learn how your favorite invertebrates move with the rhythm of the tides. Free. All ages. 503-769-3313

7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Santiam Golf Club, 8724 SE Golf Club Road, Aumsville. Stayton Volunteer Protection Co. #1 annual golf tournament to benefit the Legacy Oregon Burn Center and Willamette Valley Fire Responder Chaplains. 4-person scramble. Limited to first 30 paid ($400) teams. Registration deadline is June 8. Fees include 18 holes of golf, 2 golf carts, lunch. Register at staytonfire.org.

Bethel Clothing Closet

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

Monday, June 24

Red Cross Blood Drive

1 - 6 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Visit redcrossblood. org for appointments.

Aumsville Planning Commission

6:30 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Open to the public. Agenda available. 503-749-2030

Music Mondays

6:30 - 8 p.m., Old Mill Park, 412 S Water St., Silverton. Silverton Friends of Music presents Billy & The Rockets. Free. Stayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to the public. Agenda available. 503-7693425, staytonoregon.gov

Tuesday, June 25

Storytime in the Park

10:30 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Read, write, talk, sing, play in the Community Center Park behind the library. Free. All ages. 503-769-3313

Lyons City Council

6:30 p.m., Lyons City Hall, 449 Fifth St. Budget and State Revenue Sharing public hearings and regular monthly council meeting. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-859-2167, cityoflyons.org

Wednesday, June 26

Stayton Book Discussion

4 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Join for tea and treats while discussing Violeta by Isabel Allende. Free. 503-769-3313

Red Yarn Performs

4:30 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Using a blend of folk, rock ‘n roll, country and blues, Red Yarm weaves music and puppetry into high-energy shows for all ages. 503-769-3313, redyarnproductions.com

Thursday, June 27


11 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Explore the world of creepy crawlies and how they help the ecosystems that depend on them. Free. All ages. 503-769-3313

DIY Craftshop

5:30 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Learn a simple binding technique to create notebooks using repurposed materials. Free. 503-769-3313

Friday, June 28

Toddler Time Stayton & Play

10:30 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Come play and explore the world of early learning and literacy together with your infant or toddler. Free. 503-769-3313

POW-MIA Memorial Ride

11:30 p.m., Sublimity. Oregon Veterans Motorcycle Association honors POW and MIA veterans and families along Center Street. Flags available at City Hall while supplies last. 503-769-5475, cityofsublimity.org

TGI Friday Fest

5 - 8 p.m., downtown Third Avenue, Stayton. Live music, food, merchant sales, activities, car show. Farmer’s market. Free admission. downtownstayton.org

Saturday, June 29

Superhero Carnival

Noon - 3 p.m., Porter Boone Park, 1105 Main St., Aumsville. Bring your cape and play old-fashioned carnival games for prizes. Meet Superheros. Saturday Market runs in conjunction with carnival. Free entry. All ages. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us Boots & Beauties

4 - 7 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 SE Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Father-daughter dance with dinner by A&W, dancing, games, crafts, photos, line dancing and more. Tickets are $25 per adult and $15 per child. Funds raised from ticket and drawing sales will directly support next year’s event. Tickets at staytondance.com. ••••••••••••••••

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.

Facebook: OurTown / Santiam ourtownsantiam.com June 2024 • 15

Spring update Pickett leads Cascade girls to 2nd in 4A state track

The Cascade girls track and field team won two events, placed high in both relays and wound up tied for second in the team race at the Class 4A state meet May 17-18 at Hayward Field in Eugene,

The Cougars scored 51 points, even with North Bend and trailing the 76 of champion Philomath.

Lillian Pickett won the 400 for the Cougars in (57.97), finished fourth in the 200 and participated on the 4x100 and 4x400 relays with teammates Makenna Fraser, Makenna Burns and Allison Course. The 4x400 team took second, while the 4x100 finished third.

The other individual winner for Cascade was Kalina Seachao, champion in the shot put at 39-11.5. Also scoring were Course (7th, 200), Alexandra Newton (8th, 100 hurdles), and Olivia Frizzle (8th, javelin).

For the Cascade boys Eli Atiyeh was 6th in the pole vault, Brooks Rasmussen was 7th in the javelin and para-athlete Zhang Wilson was 5th in the mixed 100.

Stayton’s girls totaled 17 points, led by Haley Butenschoen, who won the 800 in 2:18.37. Also scoring for the Eagles were Evelyn Welch (4th, 300 hurdles) and Alexie Nussbaumer (7th, discus)

Regis had two athletes take fourth in the Class 2A meet. Clara Person was 4th in the girls 400 in 1:01.06, while Julius Pokorny of the Rams’ boys squad took 4th in the 800 in 2:01.10. The girls squad totaled 9 points, while the boys produced 7. Also scoring for the girls were Daisy Hernandez (8th, 100 hurdles) and Kaylee Silbernagel (6th, shot put). For the boys, the 4x400 relay squad of Stuart McLaughlin, Noah Koenig, Caleb Mayer and Pokorny took 8th.

Equestrian: The Cascade equestrian squad scored 73 points and finished 15th among

large teams at the Oregon High School Equestrian Teams state championships May 9-12 at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. Shayli Bruce of Cascade took third in driving, qualifying her for the June 14-16 Pacific Northwest regional event in Moses Lake, Washington, which brings together the top 5 finishers in the Washington and Oregon state meets.

Bruce also was 21st in working rancher, 17th in the individual high point standings and teamed with McKenna Buckendorf, Cole Collins and Milano Meduri to take 11th in the in hand obstacle relay. Meduri was 6th in barrels, 9th in pole bending, 16th in the high point timed standings and teamed up with Collins to take 15th in 2-man birangle.

McNichols was 6th in driving and saddle equitation, just missing a regional spot, and also was 21st in the high point individual standings. Collins finished 26th in barrels and was 43rd in team contributor rankings. Stayton, meanwhile, finished 20th in the small team standings, led by Jada Franken

Franken was 6th in breakaway roping, 9th in steer daubing, 21st in figure 8 and 34th in pole bending. She also finished 10th in the high point timed rankings. Teammate Kody Shockey participated in two team events with Scio riders, with the top finish an 18th in team versatility.

Tennis: The Cascade girls squad advanced the doubles team of Rachel Suelze and Kate Withers to the Class 4A-3A-2A1A state tournament. Suelze and Withers won their opening match against a Sisters team before bowing out in the quarterfinals against a pair from Vale. Stayton’s Laina Atiyeh advanced to state in singles but lost her first-round match to Ella Li of Oregon Episcopal.

Golf: The Cascade boys team took 3rd in the Class 4A state championships at Emerald Valley in Creswell. Kyler Hemelstrand, who won the district title for the Cougars, finished 6th overall at 159. Also scoring for Cascade were Cruz Shank (tied 20th, 176), Kaiden Ford (tied 25th, 181), Zach Wilson (35th, 187) and Cameron Wilson (46th, 196). Cascade finished with 703 strokes, tied with North Bend and Scappoose. Marist Catholic won the team title with 659.

Baseball: Regis captured the Special District 3 title with a perfect 18-0 record and advanced to the Class 2A-1A quarterfinals before falling 1-0 to North Douglas/Elkton. The Rams were 22-5 overall.

Softball: Cascade and Stayton tied for the Oregon West Conference title with 13-2 records. The Cougars took the No. 8 seed in the Class 4A playoffs and fell to No. 9 Crook County 8-4 in the first round to finish 21-6. The Eagles were the No. 10 seed and lost at St. Helens 7-0 in the playoffs. Stayton finished 19-7.

16 • June 2024 ourtownsantiam.com Facebook: OurTown / Santiam Sports & Recreation
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Hiking review Shellburg Falls delights in post-wildfire reopening

Friday, May 17 was opening day for Shellburg Falls in its post-wildfires state. I had waited long enough.

There is lots of good news to report from a recreation perspective. New infrastructure is in place, including a new trailhead for mountain bikers and a new bridge between the hiking trailhead and the falls.

Yes, there are plenty of burned areas, but the understory already is coming back strong with ferns and seasonal wildflowers. Plus, the reduction in trees, approximately 75 percent according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, has changed many of the views, giving the experience some fresh perspectives. The fires also reduced the amount of shade, it should be noted

The falls, both the upper and lower set, were running strong, although the workarounds of the ODF has made the lower cascade less-accessible, at least for now.

So let’s hit the trail. The hiking trailhead and day-use area occupies the footprint

of the old campground, which the ODF has no plans to reopen. To get there take Wagner Road off of Highway 22 and follow the signs. It’s about nine miles on a good gravel road, although it is narrow enough in spots that two pickups trying to pass each other means a tight squeeze. We passed cars both coming and going, but the visitor total for opening day was relatively light.

The quickest way to the main waterfall, the upper one, is to take the Upper Shellburg Falls trail, which is 0.7 miles to a deadend at the falls. The previous practice of being able to walk behind the falls is no longer an option. ODF officials said the loose rocks and gravel have made it unsafe.

Along the way there are nice views of the falls from the ridge above as well as some challenging switchbacks and steep sections as you descend toward the falls. The problem is that once you are on that path there are no connections between the Upper Shellburg Falls trail and any other trail in the Shellburg system. If 1.4 miles and one waterfall floats your boat, then you’re golden. Otherwise… On the east side of the creek it

is a bit more complicated and fulfilling. Via the trails it is 2-plus miles from the trailhead to the falls via the Shellburg Creek Trail, the August Mountain Trail and the Lower Shellburg Falls Trail. However, there is a “maintenance road” that lops off more than half of that distance and connects (although

the intersection is unsigned) with August Mountain. The map at the trailhead kiosk indicated the road is “not for public use,” but ODF officials told me that the prohibition was for vehicles, not hikers and bikers.

The ODF plans to install a bridge across the creek that will connect the two trail systems, but it is perhaps as many as five years away, officials said. The upshot, from my single day of hiking/observing is that everyone used the west side trail. We had the east side completely to ourselves.

On the way back to the trailhead we took the August Mountain trail and it’s a fun hike. It has some steep sections that will ensure you get a good workout and it allows you to return to the trailhead via the Shellburg Creek Trail or the Vine Maple Loop. It offers perhaps the most dense tree cover of the post-fire environment.

Another option is to head north from the trailhead and use the Lost Creek Trail to connect with Silver Falls State Park, about 2.5 miles to get to the intersection with the Catamount Trail.

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A Grin at the End Take the

OK, it’s time for my annual joke.

time You won’t regret it

My birthday is this month. Yep, I’ll turn 17. And other than a slight case of dyslexia, I feel pretty good.

With that out of the way, I have a few things to say about getting old.

In summary, it’s not too bad. Other than an occasional time-out for heart surgery, let the record show that I’ve never felt better.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time working. And worrying. I was one of those workaholics you hear about. I’d put in 14-plus hours a day editing a daily newspaper, including weekends.

Then, one day, it occurred to me that I was missing out. I was missing out on the woman I had married and our kids.

So I quit. We sold our house, packed the kids into our 1988 Taurus and headed down the road.

Our goal: to visit as many national parks as we could.

While professionally what I did was suicide, personally, it was the best thing I ever did. In hindsight, I am amazed my wife went along with it. But she always amazes me.

We wandered around the West, living the life of vagabonds. We camped and visited friends and relatives, making up a plan as we went.

By the time fall approached, we started looking for a place to spend the winter. I saw an ad for a weekly newspaper in Minnesota that was in need of a publisher. I figured it would do as a temporary stopover.

I didn’t stay at the newspaper, but we did stay in Minnesota for seven years.

We may owe you money. If you were a member of Stayton Cooperative Telephone Company receiving our services during the years 2002 and/or 2003, SCTC may owe you money. The Board of Directors of SCTC has authorized the forfeiture of all patronage distributions that have remained unclaimed for more than four years after approval of distribution. The date of forfeiture is May 14, 2025. Members must respond prior to that date to receive monies owed. Notices were mailed to the last known addresses on December 1, 2021, to all members entitled to a distribution. SCTC is making every possible effort to find those members that did not respond to previous notifications. SCTC has posted a complete list of members, as they appear on our records, on our website at https://www.sctcweb.com/unclaimed-checks/ . You can also visit our office at 502 N 2nd Ave in Stayton. Our business hours are M-F from 9:00 am until 5:00pm. If your name, or someone you know, appears on the list and payment has not been received, contact us immediately. You can email patronage@sctcweb.com, leave a message on our patronage hotline at 503 769-2724, or send a letter to SCTC, Attention: Patronage, PO Box 477, Stayton OR 97383.

It was the best thing we ever did. It reestablished my faith in people. Rural Minnesotans are hard-working, optimistic, earnest, stoic and honest. No whining allowed.

Having spent the previous 14 years primarily dealing with politicians – mainly blowhards and self-delusional crackpots –Minnesotans were awesome!

That stay recharged me. It was a time-out for looking into a new world of farming and finance – I worked for a few years as a stockbroker to pass the time.

I spent every free moment with my wife and kids. We worked on our 80-yearold farmhouse, grew a lot of food, raised chickens and learned all sorts of skills, from roofing to small engine repair.

And we traveled around the U.S., reminding ourselves of the wonders this great nation offers.

Every place we went we saw amazing things. A space shuttle blasting off in the

middle of the night. The fury of a tornado that missed our house by less than a mile. Another tornado that skipped over the South Dakota campground where we were staying. Checking out Washington, D.C., and the history of places like Philadelphia and Boston.

The birth of our third and fourth sons.  What a wondrous time it was.

When we moved to Oregon to be close to my wife’s folks, I thought we had arrived in the promised land. So beautiful. Wonderful weather (a little rain never hurt anyone). Good people.

And the politics? Meh. I make it my business not to pay any attention to that sort of thing.

So it’s been 71 years, and counting. And I’m convinced that life, which started out good, is getting better all the time.

I feel blessed.

Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and



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