Our Town South: Aug. 1, 2022

Page 1

Something to Do

Something to Think About

Aumsville Corn Festival set for Aug. 19 & 20 – Page 15

Emerald ash borer has arrived in Oregon – Page 4

Vol. 19 No. 8

COMMUNITY NEWS

Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama

August 2022

Big tools, big anniversary for Freres – Page 6

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

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Sports & Recreation

Regis, Santiam go to 9-man football

– Page 17


HISTORIC DOWNTOWN

STAYTON

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Downtown Listings

Marketplace at The Grove Shopping Mall 349-351 N 3rd Ave. 503-767-4438 Hours: Tue.-Sat, 10am-4pm 2 • August 2022

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Contents

Rairdon

Something to Think About

Electric, LLC New Construction Remodels & Service Calls

Emerald ash borer strikes in Oregon......4 Something to Celebrate Freres celebrates a centennial................ 6

Civics 101

CCB# 194573

County soil & water board seats open....9

14

Datebook ............................10 Business Aumsville contractor sued by former

Update

partner in multi-million dollar suit......12

Past failures may influence mega-ranch

Arts & Entertainment

chicken project policy.........................16

Spotlight stages The Wizard of Oz......... 14

Sports & Recreation

Something to Do

Schools transition to 9-man football....17

Aumsville gets a little ‘corny’ ..............15

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

$10 OFF

Valid thru Sept. 30

One Hour Service Call

503-871-1623 ALERT: HIT AND RUN Stayton, Scio And Sublimity Areas

On the Cover Freres Engineered Wood’s new Kone crane will move

the logs in the company’s yard. The operator sits 95 feet above the ground. Components were shipped to Lyons from as far away as Ukraine. JAMES DAY

Above

Spotlight Community Theatre adapts The Wizard of Oz.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton

GENERAL

SEASONED FIR FIREWOOD Cut and Split. $180 a Cord u-Haul-Delivery extra. 503989-0368 or 541-926-3900. FIELD & LOT MOWING Call Ed at 503-510-2301. LILY OIL $17 OZ. FRESH HERBS Rosemary $3oz, Apple Mint $5 oz, Bay Leaf 15 leaves $3. Also fresh Lavender. Selection varies with the session. Shoshana Herbals 503-873-4280, by appt only. LEXIS LITE MOBILITY SCOOTER Like new. Used less than two hours. Includes two rechargeable batteries (one lithium). Selling due to health. $925. 503-874-8056.

SERVICES

VISIONS CLEANING Invision coming home to a clean sanitized home! Let Visions House Cleaning wearing gloves and masks do the hard work. Silverton, Mount Angel & Scotts Mills

$75. Other areas $100. Excellent references. 503-989-0746. Email at landrider007@gmail.com TUTORING – FIRST SESSION FREE! LOCAL UNDERGRAD Teaching the individual meets each learner’s unique needs. Propel your student(s) higher with Tailored Tutoring! www. tailoredteacher.com JESSE’S LAWN SERVICE & HANDYMAN Pruning, edging, trimming, blackberry cleaning, gutter cleaning, arborvitae, moss treatment, yard clean-up, stump grinding, powerwashing, haul-away. 503-871-7869. GOT STUFF U WANT GONE? From yard debris to scrap metal-From garage sale leftovers to rental clear outs. We repurpose, recycle, reuse or donate what we can. Call and find out what we can do for you. $20 minimum. Keith 503-502-3462.

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503-769-9525 ourtown@ mtangelpub.com

ourtownlive.com The deadline for placing an ad in the Sept. 1 issue is Aug. 19.

Calendar listings are free for community events. Submissions must include date, time, location and cost. Submissions for the Sept. 1 issue are due Aug. 19. Email calendar items to:

On July 5, Tuesday night at 9:30 pm a hit and run truck driver killed a horse aprroximately .7 of a mile south of Stayton on Stayton Scio Road. The truck is only described as a white Ford truck traveling north on Stayton Scio Road SE at a high rate of speed and passing another car. Both vehicles fled the scene. There has to be heavy damage to the front of the white Ford truck. Mechanic shops and auto body shops be on the lookout for person seeking repairs on the white Ford truck.

Any information please call the Linn County Sheriff at 541-967-3950 case# 22-0256.

datebook@ mtangelpub.com

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August 2022 • 3


k

Something to Think About

Emerald ash borer By James Day The emerald ash borer (EAB), a forest pest that has been targeting ash trees in the United States since 2002, has been found in Oregon.

Pest threatens Oregon’s ash trees, ecosystems

About the borer The pest: Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire)

An infestation discovered June 30 in Forest Grove means that concerns of state and local officials about the ash borer’s impact on urban forests, wetlands and streams has gone from the hypothetical to the here and now.

The problem: It has killed more than 100 million ash trees in the United States and caused $2 billion in damage

“Since it was first found in the Detroit, Michigan, area back in 2002, EAB has become the most destructive and costliest forest pest ever to invade North America,” said Wyatt Williams, an invasive species specialist in the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The source: The EAB is a native of eastern Asia (Russia, China, Mongolia, Japan and the Korean Peninsula)

“This little insect (it’s only half an inch long and an eighth of an inch wide) has spread to 35 states and five Canadian provinces, killing up to 99 percent of the ash trees in some locations. At least five ash species native to the central U.S. have become critically endangered as EAB spreads across the country killing hundreds of millions of urban and wild ash trees.” Within a decade of EAB’s arrival in an area, most ash trees are dead or dying. The concern in Oregon is for Oregon ash because of the important ecological role the native species plays along streams and in wetlands.

The history: In 2002, likely through international shipping of infested wood product materials such as pallets in the Great Lakes area. The casualties: Five eastern ash species – green, white, black, blue and pumpkin – already are listed as critically endangered.

Source: Oregon Department of Forestry

“It’s an ecologically vital tree as it shades water, keeping it cooler for fish,” Williams said. “The roots stabilize streambanks, reducing erosion. And lots of animals, birds and insects eat the seeds and leaves. Losing it will likely have a huge impact on those ecosystems.”

The bad news is that there are not a lot of good solutions out there. Traps are only partially effective, pesticides are costly (and come with baggage and challenges of their own) and biological controls such as introducing a natural enemy of the EAB remain a work in progress.

The good news is that because the arrival of the pest became public knowledge in 2002 there was time for Oregon officials to plan a response. In fact, a 79-page “readiness and response plan” was completed in March 2021.

“We don’t have to do anything right away,” Hammond said on a visit to a park which includes ash trees. “We

Silverton plans to form a committee to work on a tree inventory and other EAB issues, led by retired nurseryman Eric Hammond.

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How it works: Eggs laid in crevices of bark hatch and the larvae consume the inner phloem, cambium and outer xylem just beneath the bark. The feeding cuts off the flow of sugars from the leaves to the roots, effectively starving the trees.

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Maintenance

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Resources to report or review • To report sightings of emerald ash borer make a report online at the Oregon Invasive Species Council hotline, https://oregoninvasiveshotline.org/ reports/create or call 1-866-invader. • To view the state’s plan for EAB go to https:// www.oregoninvasivespeciescouncil.org/ eab?rq=emerald%20ash%20borer

This emerald ash borer was discovered June 30 in Forest Grove. The pest poses a grave threat to the state’s ash trees, which play a crucial role in streamside and riparian areas. OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY

• For more information about the impacts of EAB on Oregon’s urban forests and the risks to native ash trees visit ODF’s forest health page at https:// www.oregon.gov/odf/forestbenefits/pages/ foresthealth.aspx

just need to monitor it and pay attention. It’s a keystone species because of the quantity and the other life – insects and birds – that lives in there.”

genetic diversity as we can before it’s lost,” Williams said. The U.S. Forest Service’s Dorena Genetics Resource Center in Cottage Grove stores the ash seeds and is sharing them with researchers.

One key effort that Williams and other Oregon officials have been advocating is the harvesting and preservation of ash seeds.

“The researchers will test for any resistance to EAB. If any is found, we might then be able to breed resistance into local strains and replant streambanks,” Williams said.

“The first goal is to try and preserve as much of the tree’s

Scott Altenhoff, ODF’s urban and community forestry

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assistance program manager, advises cities and towns to do three things. “First, if it hasn’t been done already, inventory trees to see how vulnerable the local urban forest is to losses from emerald ash borer.” Altenhoff said. “Second, now is a good time to remove ash trees from approved street tree lists as has been done in Portland. Finally, consider how wood from ash trees that die from emerald ash borer might be used locally. There may be opportunities to help local woodworkers and artists and keep the wood from going to waste.” But Altenhoff and other state officials strongly caution that ash should not be moved beyond the local area. That avoids people accidentally spreading wood-boring pests faster than they would otherwise. Altenhoff also advises communities to prioritize removal of ash trees that are already in poor health or growing in spaces too small for them. “Starting to steadily replace ash will spread out the costs and impacts better than waiting for a massive dieoff,” said Altenhoff. “Fortunately, there are many alternative tree species, including Oregon white oak, incense cedar and Chinese pistache, that might be more heat and drought resistant than ash.”

August 2022 • 5


k

Something to Celebrate

100 years in the Canyon By James Day How long is 100 years in Santiam Canyon time? Well, 1922 goes back farther than Highway 22, which wasn’t completed to connect with US 20 at the Santiam Summit until the 1930s. Or how about the Detroit Dam? Nope, it was dedicated in 1953. In 1922, in the hills above the Little North Fork of the North Santiam River, T.G. Freres began a small timber cutting operation. Flash forward to 2022 and a third generation of Freres family members is running Freres Engineered Wood, a cutting edge Lyons-based firm that is a world leader in mass plywood panels, a major producer of plywood and veneer, the biggest employer in the Canyon with 400 employees and perhaps its largest private landowner with 17,000 acres of forest property. “We’re here celebrating our 100th. It’s the right place and the right time,” said Kyle Freres, vice president of operations, who spoke on behalf of the

firm to Our Town. “A vast amount of work was put in by previous generations. We’re standing on the shoulders of giants that gave us the opportunity to be here today. That’s the heritage we have.”

fir veneers, which are glued and pressed together, MPP yields large-format wood platforms, beams and columns that can be manufactured in thickness of up to twofeet thick.

A Freres always has been in charge of the operation, with Kyle Freres joined in the org chart by twin brother Tyler (vice president sales) and their uncle Rob, the company president.

MPP, along with a similar technology called cross-laminated timber (CLT), is reshaping the building industry. Builders are now erecting 20-plus story wood skyscrapers, with Freres engaged in an 18-story project at a West Coast location that Freres could not discuss further.

The firm moved into Lyons in the 1940s and has small log veneer, large log veneer, veneer drying and biopower facilities at its headquarters on 14th Street. In addition, Freres has a plywood sheathing operation in Mill City and its mass plywood panel operation on Cedar Mill Road in Lyons.

MPP revolution Mass ply panels (MPP) represents the latest innovation for Freres, which moved from traditional lumber to veneer and plywood in the 1950s. MPP has been a game-changer for Freres and the forest products industry. Consisting of Douglas-

“Our industry has always been that way,” Kyle Freres said when asked about the firm’s record of innovation. “From logs to lumber to veneer and plywood and now MPP. Each one of these developments has been undertaken in an effort to take the natural character of a tree and use it more efficiently. “It is part of our culture. Our identity always has included a creative bent, taking chances and creating something new.” Such as the roof of the new main terminal at Portland International Airport. Mass

Freres Engineered Wood (formerly Freres Lumber Co.) Where: Five plants in Lyons, one in Mill City Employees: 400 Key products: Mass plywood panels, veneer, plywood, lumber, ag products (such as chips, sawdust) Holdings: 17,000 acre of forest property, primarily planted in Douglas fir Top officials: Rob Freres (president), Kyle Freres (VP of operations), Tyler Freres (VP of sales) Founder: T.G. Freres, 1922 plywood panels from Freres will be used in the eight acres of roof, whose 1,400 MPP sections will be positioned by the end of the year. The panels will be fabricated in Lyons and put together at

Outdoor Power Equipment store right here in the canyon. Need something repaired? Call us!

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Freres Enineered Wood continues to innovate are using local suppliers, they are being more sustainable, it’s a creative design and it challenged us as well to come up with prototypes.” Projects such as the airport are showing what can be done with a renewable resource amid concerns about climate change. Nothing goes to waste these days at a Freres plant. Every piece of the nineinch to 18-inch diameter Douglas fir trees that enter the facilities pays dividends.

Kyle Freres, left, Rob Freres, center, and Tyler Freres. SUBMITTED PHOTO

the airport site, with the opening of the new facility still a year or two away.

“This is an exciting project for us,” Kyle

Freres said. “Portland led the way. They

“Using wood fiber more effectively always has been part of the industry,” Freres said. The company produces chips, bark dust, saw dust, hog fuel, bio char and burns enough scraps in its Evergreen BioPower Cogeneration facility to produce enough juice annually to power 5,000 homes. “Remember in the 1970s and 1980s when all the mills had those wigwam burners?” that took care of what was left over, Freres said. “Now, that material is used to generate heat and electricity. We pay for every part of every tree to hit our log yard. We want to make better use of it.”

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August 2022 • 7


k

Something to Celebrate Continued from page 7

The mother of all cranes

“These are highly technical jobs,” said Freres, noting particularly millwright and electrician positions. “We’ll take someone out of high school and train then. We’ll send them to school. We want people to look at a job here as a career. We’ve providing family wage jobs.”

The log yard in Lyons also has a massive new tool, a Kone crane that rises 95 feet above its custom rail line. It looks like sometime out of a Star Wars movie or perhaps an erector set creation on an unheard-of scale. Kone is a Finnish firm, but some of the main components are built in Ukraine. The pieces shipped out of the country one week before the Russians invaded on Feb. 24, then took six weeks to arrive by boat in Tacoma. Dozens and dozens of truck loads were required to move the pieces to Lyons, with Freres officials deploying three cranes just to lift the assembled Kone into place. “The Kone is a perfect example of the long-term investments we are making,” Freres said. “It will outlive me, and it’s going to be here for the next 50 years. That’s a big part of being in a family business.” Freres has rebranded itself as Freres Engineered Wood, with work underway on restenciling all of the doors of the trucks. Freres said that change from Freres Lumber Co. offers the public and customers a better sense of the company’s market niche and also, hopefully, will end the calls Freres receives from those seeking 2x4s.

The good news with the employment issue is that “we have a lot more locals working for us now.”

Bundles of Douglas fir veneer await shipping from Freres’ Lyons facility. The Santiam Canyon fixture is celebrating its 100th anniversary. JAMES DAY

Employment challenge Freres currently employs 400 people, but Kyle Freres noted the company has enough work to hire 100 more. “We live and work in a small rural community,” he said, “and historically a lot of our employees came from the Salem area. But these are uncertain times and it’s a very competitive market out there. We know that our people are the backbone of the operation and we need to retain the skilled people that we have.” Freres increased wages 10% last year and 9% more this year.

Which makes sense given how intertwined are the fortunes of Freres and the greater Canyon community. The company has been a major contributor to the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund. Freres donated MPP beams and columns to the Detroit Civic Center project that replaced the City Hall destroyed by the fires and built pumphouses for fire-affected property owners. Freres was scarred by the fires as well, with 6,000 of its acres burned. The company salvaged what it could and has since replanted three million new trees. “Our roots run pretty deep,” Freres said. “Our company has been here since the 1940s. Much of our charitable giving is local. We want to support the community that has supported us. But we still have a lot to learn and a lot to figure out.”

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Civics 101

Seats open for Marion soil & water district board By James Day Six seats on the 7-person Marion Soil & Water Conservation District board will be up for grabs in the Nov. 8 election. The board consists of 5 directors who are elected by zone, with 2 at-large seats filling out the roster. Only Zone 4 director Dave Budeau is not on the ballot. Zone 4 is in southern Marion County and includes Stayton, Aumsville, Turner and Jefferson.

Election Dates Aug. 30: Filing deadline for MSWD candidates Oct. 18: Last day to register to vote Oct. 19: Local ballots mailed Nov. 3: Last day for election officials to mail replacement ballots to voters

Zone 5 is in eastern Marion County and includes the Santiam Canyon towns of Mehama, Mill City, Gates, Detroit and Idanha. Rochelle Koch is the current representative. The two at-large seats currently are held by Scott Walker and Terry Hsu.

Application packets for prospective candidates, including the incumbents, can be picked Here is a look at the geography of the up now. Go to www.oregon. zones: gov/oda/shared/Documents/ Nov. 8: Election Day Zone 1 is in northern Marion County Publications/NaturalResources/ and includes St. Paul and Hubbard. CandidatePacketforSWCD The seat currently is vacant. DirectorElections.pdf or contact Brenda.Sanchez@ Zone 2 is in northeastern Marion County and includes marionswcd.net. Aurora, Scotts Mills and Woodburn. The current The deadline to complete the forms is Aug. 30. representative is Kyle Ross. Nov. 4: Voters needing a replacement ballot must make arrangements for pickup at the county elections office

Zone 3 is in central Marion County and includes Keizer, Salem and Silverton. Board chair Darin Olson currently represents the zone.

The mission of the district is to work with Marion County residents to protect, conserve and improve soil and water resources.

No matter where you come from or where you are in life, Salem Health is here for you. We tailor our care plan to you, because everyone deserves a chance to feel their best.

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August 2022 • 9


datebook Frequent Address

Santiam Senior Center, 41818 Kingston-Jordan Road, Stayton 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. 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 Wed., Fri.. $3 donation suggested. Ginger, 503-769-7995 Free Covid-19 Testing, 2 - 6 p.m., Ditter’s Square, 134 W Main St., Sublimity. No physician’s order required. Pre-register at labdash.net, 503-769-3230. Appointments required: santiamhospital.org/coronavirus. Repeats 2 - 4:30 p.m. Saturday Walk-In Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic, 2 – 5 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Adult and children age 5 and older vaccines and boosters. Moderna vaccine for pediatric patients 6 months to age 5. Free. Drop in or schedule an appointment at santiamhospital.org. Bingo, 1 - 3:30 p.m., Santiam Senior Center. Regular games $.05 a card. Blackout $.10 a card. 50 and older. Repeats Thursdays. 503-767-2009 Community Yoga, 7 p.m., St. Patrick’s Hall, 362 Seventh St., Lyons. Suggested donation $5 - 15. All levels. Repeats Wed.. Kathy, mail2reed@gmail.com

Tuesday

Senior Gardening with Diane Hyde, 10:30 a.m., Santiam Senior Center. 50 and older. 503-767-2009, santiamseniorcenter.com

Wednesday

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 Tai Chi for Intermediates, 10:15 - 11 a.m., Santiam Senior Center. 50 and older. Repeats Friday. 503-767-2009 Tai Chi for Beginners, 11:15 a.m. noon, Santiam Senior Center. 50 and older. Repeats Friday. 503-767-2009 Stayton Area Rotary, noon, Santiam Golf Club, 8724 Golf Club Road. Guests welcome. 503-508-9431

10 • August 2022

Cascade Country Quilters, 12:30 p.m., Santiam Senior Center. 50 and older. 503-767-2009 Beginner Line Dancing Class, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., Santiam Senior Center. 50 and older. 503-767-2009 Advanced Line Dancing Class, 2 - 3 p.m., Santiam Senior Center. 50 and older. 503-767-2009 Stayton Farmers Market, 4 - 7 p.m., downtown Stayton. Produce, flowers, crafts and more. On Facebook @ StaytonFarmersMarket

Thursday

Mama´s Community Market, 1 - 6 p.m., Aumsville Pentecostal Church, 10153 Mill Creek Road. Food Pantry. 971-710-5665 Point Man Ministries, 6 p.m., Canyon Bible Fellowship, 446 Cedar St., Lyons. Veterans support organization. 503-859-2627

Friday

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

Saturday

Aumsville Saturday Market, 9 a.m. 3 p.m., Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St., Aumsville. Fresh produce, specialty food, baked goods, flowers and more. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us Aumsville Historical Museum, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 599 Main St. To visit by appointment, call Ted Shepard at 503-749-2744.

Notices

Free Summer Meals 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Stayton Middle School, 1021 Shaff Road. Hot lunch. All meals must be consumed on site and children must be present to receive a meal. For children age 1 - 18. Free sack lunches are available: 11:15 a.m. - noon, Stayton Elementary, 875 N Third Ave.; Stayton Pool, 333 W Burnett St. All sites run through Aug. 19.

Monday, Aug. 1 Music Mondays

6:30 p.m., Old Mill Park, 412 S Water St., Silverton. Bring your blankets and chairs, and enjoy music on Monday nights all summer long. Today: Billy and the Rockets. Aug. 8: The Crying Omas and The Oak Street Players. Aug. 15: SandLynn. Aug. 22: Syco Billy’s String Band. Aug. 29: Black & Blue.

Stayton City Council 7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Agenda available. 503769-3425, staytonoregon.gov

Tuesday, Aug. 2

River City Music & Art Jamboree

10:30 - 11:15 a.m., Stayton Community Center Park. For children and their families. Free. 503-769-3313

Noon - 10 p.m., Kimmel Park, Mill City. Celebrate the Santiam Canyon with artists and musicians. Beer garden. Silent and oral auction. Artists, vendors, food. Repeats 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Aug. 6. Free admission.

Storytime in the Park

Sublimity National Night Out 5 - 8 p.m., Church Park, 375 E Main St., Sublimity. Vendors, free dinner and live music by the Rock-N-Roll Cowboys. 503769-5475, cityofsublimity.org

Aumsville National Night Out 6 - 9 p.m. Three locations hosting events: Eighth and Hazel streets, Highberger Loop and Antelope Street, Wildwood Park. Check the Aumsville Police Department Facebook page for possible additions. 503-749-2188

Lyons National Night Out 6 - 8:30 p.m., Lyons Fire Department, 1114 Main St. Free hot dog barbecue with chips. 503-859-2410

Stayton Parks and Rec Board 7 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Agenda available. Open to public. 503-769-3425

Wednesday, Aug. 3 Chamber Business Network

8:30 a.m., Santiam Senior Center. Network building event for local business, non-profit professionals. Sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-769-3464

Stro’s Cruise-In 5 - 8 p.m., A&W, 1215 W Washington St., Stayton. Classic cars, music, food, prizes. Fundraiser for the Brent Strohmeyer Memorial Scholarship. Repeats Aug. 17. Russ, 503-930-8976, stroscarevents.com

Thursday, Aug. 4 Special Storytime

10:30 - 11:15 a.m., Sublimity Organics, 7908 SE Boedigheimer Road, Sublimity. Free. 503-769-3313

Lyons Summer Reading Fun 3 p.m., Lyons City Park, 449 Fifth St. Free. Open to public. Today: Scavenger Hunt (dress as a superhero). Aug. 11: Terrific Trees (tie dye dress). Aug. 18: Coventry & Kaluza performance (inside out dress). Aug. 25: End of the summer party and store. 503-859-2366, lyons.ccrls.org

Friday, Aug. 5

Home Davenport Community Festival 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Coolidge McClaine Park, Silverton. Arts, crafts, food, music, parade, car show, fun run, breakfast, more. Free admission. Repeats 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Aug. 6, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Aug. 7. For a complete list of events, visit homerdavenport.com.

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Saturday, Aug. 6 Aumsville Movies in the Park

Dusk, Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St., Aumsville. Free. Open to all. Today: Brave. Aug. 13: Monsters U. Aug. 27: Zootopia. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Movie in the Park 8 p.m., Church Park, 375 E Main St., Sublimity. Free. Open to all. Today: Sonic the Hedgehog. Aug. 27: Ghostbusters Afterlife.

Monday, Aug. 8 Sports Physicals

3:30 - 7:30 p.m., Regis High, 550 W Regis St., Stayton. $10 sports physicals for middle and high school students hosted by Santiam Hospital & Clinics. Cash or check only. santiamhospital.org

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

Aumsville City Council 7 p.m., Aumsville Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Open to public. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Lyons Fire District Board 7 p.m., Lyons Fire Station, 1114 Main St. Open to public. 503-859-2410

Stayton Fire District 7 p.m.,. Stayton Fire Station, 1988 W Ida St. Open to public. 503-769-2601

Tuesday, Aug. 9 Storytime in the Park

10:30 a.m. - 11:15 p.m., Pioneer Park, Stayton. All ages welcome. Free. 503-769-3313

Tie-Dye 3 - 4 p.m., Stayton Community Center Park. Bring your summer reading t-shirt or something else light colored and dye it your own way. All ages. Free. 503-769-3313

RDS Board Meeting 6 p.m., Beauchamp Building, 278 E High St., Stayton. Revitalize Downtown Stayton monthly meeting. Open to public. 503-767-2317, downtownstayton.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

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Wednesday, Aug. 10

Scotts Mills Homecoming Picnic

Party in the Park

8:30 a.m., TBD. Hosted by Russ Hedge. Network building event for local business, non-profit professionals. Sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-769-3464

Noon - 5 p.m., Scotts Mills Park, 330 First St. Scotts Mills Area Historical Society hosts the annual Homecoming Picnic. Ugly truck and Most Beautiful Antique Car contest and historical scavenger hunt at the museum from 9 a.m. - noon. Lynn, 425-698-9016

6 - 10 p.m., Mill Creek Park, 1110 Main St., Aumsville. Corn Festival kickoff event with live music by Pendleton Highway Band, beer and wine garden and food trucks. 21 and older event. Free admission. aumsville.us

Caregiver Connection

Aumsville Skate Competition

1 - 2:30 p.m. For family caregivers and/ or unpaid family caregivers. Free. To register, contact Suzy, 503-304-3429, suzy.deeds@nwsds.org

2 - 6 p.m., Aumsville Skate Park, 8773 SE Mill Creek Road. Skateboarding competition. 1st place $1,000. 2nd place $500. 3rd place $250. Sponsored by Caakes Unltd. Sign up at caakesunltd.com. Viewers welcome.

Saturday, Aug. 20

Chamber Business Network

Thursday, Aug. 11 SRP Card Tournament

Noon - 3 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Use the adventure card deck you build for the summer reading program to compete for prizes. For children and families. Free. 503-769-3313

Sports Physicals 3:30 - 7:30 p.m., Regis High, 550 W Regis St., Stayton. $10 sports physicals for middle and high school students hosted by Santiam Hospital & Clinics. Cash or check only. santiamhospital.org

Coventry & Kaluza 4 p.m., Stayton Community Center Park. Award-winning circus comedians bring a variety of skills and thrills to this oneof-a-kind interactive show. All ages. Free. 503-769-3313

Friday, Aug. 12 Sports Physicals

2 - 6 p.m., Stayton High Field House, 757 W Locust St.. $10 sports physicals for middle and high school students hosted by Santiam Hospital & Clinics. Cash or check only. santiamhospital.org

Saturday, Aug. 13 Flea Market

9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1140 Fifth St., Lyons. Crafts, collectibles. Lunch available to go and limited seating. If mandated, masks will be required. Free admission, parking. 503-859-2161

Scotts Mill Harvest Fair 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Scotts Mills Grange, 299 Fourth St. Crafts and homemade goods from local vendors. People may enter their homemade, homegrown items to be judged. These goods will be auctioned off from 7 - 9 p.m. For vendor reservations, call Lynn, 425-698-9016.

Sunday, Aug. 14 Brown House Tour

Noon - 2 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Tour the historic Charles and Martha Brown House. Free. Open to public. 503-769-8860

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Monday, Aug. 15 Stayton City Council

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

Tuesday, Aug. 16

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, Aug. 17 Chamber Business Network

8:30 a.m., Covered Bridge Cafe, 510 N Third Ave., Stayton. Network building event for local business, non-profit professionals. Sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-769-3464

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

Thursday, Aug. 18 Mari-Linn PTA Garage Sale

9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Mari-Linn School, 641 Fifth St., Lyons. All proceeds benefit students and teachers. Repeats Aug. 19-20.

NSSD Board 6 p.m., District Office, 1155 N First Ave., Stayton. Board meeting for North Santiam School District. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-769-6924, nsantiam.k12.or.us

The Wizard of Oz 7 p.m., Spotlight Theater, 383 N Third Ave., Stayton. Opening night production. Adults $15. Seniors $12. Youth $8. Tickets at spotlightcommunitytheatre.com. Repeats 7 p.m. Aug. 19, 20, 25, 26, 27; 2 p.m. Aug. 20, 21, 27.

Friday, Aug. 19 Red Cross Blood Drive

Summer Sun Sale

All day. Lyons. City-wide garage sales. 503-859-2167, cityoflyons.org

Firefighters Breakfast 7 - 10 a.m., Aumsville Fire Station, 490 Church St. Benefits the volunteer firefighter activities including equipment and supplies. 503-749-2894

Preserving Together 9 a.m. - noon, Santiam Community Garden, 848 Fifth St., Lyons. All about tomatoes. Tomatoes will be canned, including salsa, juice, just-cooked sauces, ketchup and more. Jars, canners, supplies are provided. Reserve a spot at seedsupper97358@gmail.com or 503-859-2517.

Lyons Firefighter Car Show 9 a.m. - 2:15 p.m., Lyons Fire Station, 1114 Main St. Car show, bake sale, bazaar booths, 50/50 drawing, fastest fireman contest. DJ by Russ Strohmeyer. Free. 503-859-2410, lyonsrfd.org

Silverton Art Festival 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Coolidge-McClaine Park, Silverton. Artists, food vendors, musicians, local groups and more. Free admission. Repeats 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Aug. 21. 503-873-2480, silvertonarts.org

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

Aumsville Corn Festival 11 - 6 p.m., Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St. The festivities begin with the parade down Main Street followed by hot buttered corn, games and vendors at the park. City-wide garage sales. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Aumsville Fire Department, 490 Church St. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Red Cross Blood Drive

Monday, Aug. 22

Free Playgroup

10 - 11:30 a.m., Wildwood Splash Park, Aumsville. Free play group for families with children age 5 and younger. Hosted by Family Building Blocks.

9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

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Tuesday, Aug. 23 DAR Mobile Education Exhibit

10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Grocery Outlet, 1950 SE 14th Ave., Albany. The exhibit serves as a mobile museum, educating visitors about the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military and veterans through interactive exhibits, short films and shared stories. It is also an official “Welcome Home” station for the nation’s Vietnam veterans. Free.

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

Saturday, Aug. 27 Pancake Breakfast

8 - 10 a.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1140 Fifth St., Lyons. $6 a plate. 503-859-2161

Golf Benefit Tournament 8:30 a.m., Santiam Golf Course, 8724 Golf Club Road, Aumsville. Benefits Santiam Teen Center. Hole-in-one, closest to pin, longest drive and last place prizes. $125 per golfer/$500 per team of four. Register at santiamteencenter.org.

Monday, Aug. 29 Red Cross Blood Drive

12:30 - 5:30 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1077 N Sixth Ave., Stayton.. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Vigil for Peace 2:30 - 3:30 p.m., Towne Square Park, Silverton. Silverton People for Peace gather to advocate for peace, social justice issues on all levels of society including a focus on issues of current concern. Open to all. 503-873-5307

Stayton vs Marist Volleyball 6 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St.

Tuesday, Aug. 30

Cascade vs Junction City Boys Soccer 4:30 p.m., Cascade High, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner

Stayton vs Molalla Boys Soccer 6 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St.

Cascade vs St. Helens Volleyball 6 p.m., Cascade High, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner ••••••••••••••••••

Datebook Submission Information

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

August 2022 • 11


Business

$15 million suit By Stephen Floyd

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An Aumsville construction company has been sued by its former CEO for $15 million, claiming he was forced out while investigating racial discrimination. Roger Silbernagel filed suit June 28 in Marion County Circuit Court against HP Civil, Inc. (HPC), President Larry Gescher and Vice-President Josh Smith after Silbernagel was fired May 31 and subjected to a forced buyout. Silbernagel claimed the action was retaliation for his investigation of racial bias directed at his son, Zach Silbernagel, who identifies as Black and was an HPC employee at the time of the allegations. HPC has denied wrongdoing and, in a statement to Our Town, Gescher said they “strongly disagree” with Roger Silbernagel’s claims.

503-769-7519

“The company has always prided itself on operating with the highest degree of ethics and treating all of our stakeholders with respect and dignity,” said Gescher. “We intend to vigorously defend ourselves in the lawsuit and look forward to our day in court.” The defendants had a deadline of July 31 to formally respond to the suit, which was after Our Town’s press deadline. Roger Silbernagel is represented by Portland firm Chenoweth Law Group The case has been assigned to Judge Lindasy Partridge.

Outward success, inward friction Roger Silbernagel, Gescher and Smith founded the company in 2013 to specialize in heavy construction projects such as highways and bridges, particularly those too complex for other contractors. HPC has grown significantly, and in 2021 built a 17,000 square-foot office/ warehouse just outside Aumsville. They are currently awarded, or bidding on, numerous contracts with the Oregon Department of Transportation and other agencies for projects throughout Oregon. This included a bid last year to construct a 175,000 gallon reservoir at Detroit Lake State Park after the previous reservoir was damaged during the 2020 wildfires. Though HPC submitted the lowest bid, the contract was ultimately awarded to MJ Hughes Construction, of Vancouver, Washington.

12 • August 2022

When asked if the suit may impact open contracts with HPC, ODOT

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spokesperson Katherine Benenati said it is the department’s policy to not comment on pending litigation. According to the suit, friction between Roger Silbernagel and his co-founders began early in the company’s history, including incidents where they hired employees over Roger Silbernagel’s objections. These employees later took actions harmful to HPC. In one incident, a new employee crashed a company vehicle while intoxicated, another crashed his personal vehicle while intoxicated on his way to work, and a third physically assaulted two women at a company function, though these individuals were not named in the suit. Roger Silbernagel also objected to Gescher and Smith in 2017 offering part ownership to a new employee despite what Roger Silbernagel saw as a lack of qualifications, and an existing agreement to limit ownership to the three original founders. After the new employee had been on the job for five years, said the lawsuit, Gescher sold him a portion of his stake in March of 2022 over Roger Silbernagel’s continued objections. He objected because of the founder’s agreement and that such a decision allegedly required unanimous approval of the owners.

Alleged racial bias The central allegations in the suit revolved around Gescher’s nephew, Jake Gescher, also an employee, who allegedly used racial slurs on the job regularly, including telling Zach Silbernagel they would have to “n***** rig” a piece of equipment. Zach Silbernagel filed a complaint against Jake Gescher in 2021. However, according to the suit, Larry Gescher allegedly failed to properly follow up on the matter and instead informed his nephew of the complaint, leading to Jake Gescher confronting Zach Silbernagel. “In the end, Larry Gescher did not discipline Jake Gescher and the company did not provide employees with additional training to prevent racist and racially insensitive language at HPC,” said the lawsuit. Following the complaint, Zach Silbernagel was allegedly harassed on the job by Smith, whom the suit described as a personal friend of Jake Gescher. Smith allegedly blamed Zach Silbernagel for problems on jobs whether or not they

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Aumsville contractor sued by former partner were his fault, while allegedly overlooking the mistakes of white employees. The behavior caught the attention of a co-worker, who asked Roger Silbernagel on multiple occasions why Smith seemed to have a problem with Zach Silbernagel, according to the suit. After months of alleged harassment, Roger Silbernagel initiated a formal investigation in April of 2022 and questioned Smith about his behavior. “Plaintiff asked Smith whether his treatment of Zach Silbernagel was because he was Black,” said the lawsuit. “Smith became very angry.”

Co-founder ousted The suit did not include the outcome of Roger Silbernagel’s investigation, but did claim Larry Gescher and Smith began actively excluding him from critical business decisions and regular meetings. This culminated on May 31 when Larry Gescher and Smith allegedly informed Roger Silbernagel he would no longer

be a partner and would be forced to sell his stake in the company for book value, which is a measure of current assets and is typically less than market value, which also accounts for profitability and future growth. The lawsuit claims Roger Silbernagel was told he had a few days to think things over, but later that day Larry Gescher allegedly handed Roger Silbernagel his final paycheck, told the former CEO he should start a new business with his son, then removed Roger Silbernagel’s access to the company’s system and files. Roger Silbernagel is seeking $2 million in punitive damages for retaliation, wrongful termination, and failure to act in the best interests of a business partner. He has also asked the court to reinstate him as CEO and a co-owner, while removing Larry Gescher and Smith from the board of directors, or alternatively compelling Larry Gescher and Smith to pay fair market rate for Roger Silbernagel’s shares for damages of up to $15 million.

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Canyon

Newell Andrew Crandall was born on Oct. 5, 1925, in Gravel Hill, Arkansas to Estle and Eula Crandall. He was raised in Arkansas, during his youth enjoyed playing basketball and baseball. He attended high school for 11.5 years before joining the Navy and serving honorably during WWII as a P.O. Second Class, boatswain mate. His adult years were spent in the Bay area of California and in 2000 he later moved to Arizona, followed by Marian Estates in Sublimity, Oregon in 2010. Prior to retirement, Newell worked for the Food Machinery Corp (FMC) in San Jose, California as a machinist. When not working, Newell enjoyed woodworking, square dancing, gardening, carpentry, baseball, traveling, going to church and old time country and gospel music. He passed away to be with his precious Lord on June 27, 2022, in Sublimity, Oregon, with family at his side. A family graveside will be held at St. Paul Cemetery in Gravel Hill, Arkansas. Newell was preceded in death by his wife, Polly Crandall; son, Timothy Crandall; brother, Aaron Crandall. He is survived by his children, Ken Crandall, Thom Crandall, Annie Streckfuss, Susan Crandall; step-son Mark Gilligan; grandchildren, Jay, Chris, Jon, Janell, Daniel, Luke, Erinn, Liz and Sarah; great grandchildren, Amos, Nathaniel, Aaylah, Hiba; sibling, Wanda Wilbanks; and niece Carol and nephew Alan.

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Oct. 5, 1925 – June 27, 2022

Submissions welcomed: Our Town appreciates the opportuity to share life’s Passages with our readers. If there is a birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary, college graduation or obituary of a local resident you’d like to share, please send it to ourtown.life@mtangelpub.com or mail to: Editor, Our Town, 2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton, OR 97383. (Space and editorial considerations may apply).

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August 2022 • 13


k

Arts & Entertainment

Behind the curtain

Spotlight stages The Wizard of Oz

By Mary Owen

Local A ltheater w Abuffs y SwillAbecoffctoeseepthe t wizard i N gthisN e w p A t i e N t month when Spotlight Community Theatre presents a A on N the d classic A lThe l Wizard t y pof Oz. eS oF iNSurANceS fun take

so much time off because of the pandemic.

S

“We seem to be adapting well,” she said. “We are all bonding and having so much fun. And the costumes are so awesome!”

Director Shannon Rempel based her adaptation on the well-known novel by L. Frank Baum, one of her favorites. “Since I was a child, I have been singing songs and collecting memorabilia of Oz,” said Rempel, a big fan of the Baum classic. “The characters are so lovable and fun to follow.” Rempel describes “boring” the lead character, Lance Large, life asKelly Hanhfor Ramirez, Maria Fife, Carl W Leder, Dorothy, MD who lives with her Auntie Em and Uncle FNP-BC PA-C PA-C Spotlight Community Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz, in rehearsals. Henry on a farm in Kansas. Dorothy fears Miss Gulch MARY OWEN will take her adventuresome little dog, Toto, until one day a tornado swoops in and takes them “over the p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. from Aug. 12 to Aug. 28 at rainbow” to the wonderful and magical land of Oz. the Spotlight Community Theatre, 383 N. Third Ave., Dorothy and her little dog set off on a journey down Treatment of Chronic IllnessStayton. Tickets are on sale at spotlightct.com. the yellow brick road to the Emerald City with the “This is an adaptation of a classic tale that has drawn Scarecrow, the Tin Mansuch and the Lion. The as Cowardly Diabetes/Hypertension audiences of all ages for many, many years,” Rempel said. new friends encounter a wicked witch and her two “The element of fantasy and such engages kids and adults apprentices and a Preventative haunted forest as they travel find theMedicine Care • toSports and brings families together.” wizard, who promises to grant their respective wishes for Pediatrics • Geriatrics Care a brain, a heart, courage, and a way home. • Womens’ Health Rempel credits her “awesome” cast of 14 for helping her

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Performances will beTherapy™ on Fridays and(Physician Saturdays are atAssisted 7 meet the challenge FirstLine Weight Loss)of navigating the theatre’s return after

In the time the cast and crew have had together, words on a page and memories from childhood have become a fun and enchanting piece of theatre, Rempel said. “Suddenly, we are no longer a student of Aumsville Elementary School, an employee at Star Theater, a resident of Scio, or a Family Outreach Coordinator – we’ve become Munchkins, Oz People, Glinda the Good Witch, Cowardly Lion, or jitterbugs,” she said. The cast list is Liberty Bundy as Dorothy, Melodie Weeks as Auntie Em and Glinda, Bryan Morris as Uncle Henry and the Wizard of Oz, Elizabeth Hirsch as Hickory and the Tin Man, Jaxon Grow as Hunk and the Scarecrow, Maggie Shook as Zeke and the Lion, and Angela Smith as the Wicked Witch and Miss Gulch. Other cast members are: Elliott Lee, Julie Murphy, Ximena Garcia, Annalee Elijah, Lucy Garcia, Emmylou Shook, and Vikki Pointer. For more information, call 503-302-0936 or visit SCT’s Facebook page.

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14 • August 2022

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Something to Do

Cob life

Aumsville Corn Festival brings out community spirit

By Mary Owen

breakfast at 7-10 a.m. at the Aumsville Fire Department. Proceeds go to support the Aumsville Rural Fire District.

Aumsville is going “corny!” The 54th Annual Corn Festival is coming this month, with free hot-buttered corn and plenty of fun for everyone. The theme this year is “Who You Gonna Call? Corn Huskers!” “The Corn festival will continue its tradition of offering a great collection of events again this year, beginning with a skate competition at the Brian Haney Memorial Skate Park on Aug. 14 in Mill Creek Park,” said Ron Harding, city administrator. “This competition, organized by Caakes, will offer over $1,750 in prizes” The second annual skate competition starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. On Aug. 19, the city will host a “Party in the Park” featuring the Pendleton Highway band. The event begins at 6 p.m., and entry is $5 per person. Food, dancing and drinks will all be available. In addition to live music, there wiill be a beer and wine garden and food truck

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To purchase breakfasts to go, pre-order by Aug. 17 by 5 p.m. at the Fire Station. Meals are $10 per person over ten, nine and under are free. The menu includes pancakes (blueberry, corn or regular), eggs, ham or sausage, coffee or juice. The local band, Hangar Boys, will play throughout breakfast.

Aumsville Corn Festival parade. COURTESY CITY OF AUMSVILLE

cuisine. Must be 21 to enter beer and wine garden. “This is an outdoor event in Mill Creek Park,” Harding said. “It was sold out last year. On Aug. 20, we hosted our foundation event that earned the distinction as a heritage event from Oregon state parks, our Corn festival.” The festival begins with a pancake

Corn Festival activities begin with a parade at 11 a.m. down Main Street. Check-in is between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. at the Bethel Baptist Church parking lot, Sixth and Cleveland. Judging begins at 9:30 a.m. If not lined up by then, entries will not be judged. Rules and entry applications are on the City of Aumsville website, www.aumsville.us. “After the parade, we all filter into Porter-Boone Park for games, entertainment, vendors, and free, hotbuttered corn,” Harding said. “This year will feature our Corn Maze and free pony rides for the kids.”

The corn-eating competition is back, details to be announced on the Aumsville Corn Festival Facebook page. The corn this year was purchased from Bill Case Farms and will be available for purchase at the event. Molly Martinka will perform the National Anthem with Alex Kelly as Corn Festival Parade announcer. Parking will be available at Mill Creek Park, with handicap parking at PorterBoone Park. Sponsors to date include Riverview Community Bank, Pacific Power, Sandi Elwood, G3 Restaurant, Recology Organics, Republic Services, Blazer Industries, HP Civil and Aumsville Animal Clinic. A citywide garage sale will also be going on Saturday. Applications are on the city’s website. For information, check the Aumsville Corn Festival Facebook page.

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August 2022 • 15


k

Update

Waste watch By Stephen Floyd A now-defunct megadairy near Hermiston could impact the way local industrial-scale farms are permitted by the state after a regulatory loophole resulted in the accumulation of millions of gallons of animal waste. Though three proposed chicken ranches near Jordan, Scio and Stayton have catalyzed a current push for policy reform, the 2017 fiasco surrounding Lost Valley Farm continues to leave a mark years after the fact. The dairy followed Oregon’s process to receive a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) permit, including approval of a plan to manage animal waste. But it was quickly in violation of its own plan because the permit was issued while the dairy lacked appropriate facilities to handle an influx of manure and other waste, and such facilities were never completed by the time the farm closed under bankruptcy proceedings in 2018. Sen. Michael Denbrow (D-Portland), who is helping lead current CAFO reform efforts, said this incident and the inability of regulators to reign in the problem demonstrated a need to reconsider how Oregon permits large farms to operate. “I think it showed us some of the weaknesses in our CAFO process,” he said. Denbrow spoke July 7 while chairing the first meeting of the Poultry CAFO Work

Past animal operation downfall informs policy pathway

Group, created recently by the Senate Committee On Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery. The work group is composed of state and local lawmakers, as well as industry representatives and environmental advocates, with the specific goal of examining how CAFO permits are issued for large poultry operations. Among its members are Scio farmers Linda Minten, of Minten Farms, Tim Nesbitt, of Queener Farm, and Kendra Kimbirauskas, of Shimanek Bridge Farm, who have been vocal opponents of the proposed chicken ranches. Also included are Bill Mattos, of the Northwest Chicken Council, and Eric Simon, of Brownsville, owner of J-S Ranch, one of the three proposed local ranches. J-S Ranch received a CAFO permit May 26 to produce 3.4 million broiler chickens annually. Farmers Against Foster Farms, co-organized by Kimbirauskas in 2021, appealed the CAFO permit on the grounds the farm threatens local air and water quality and would have a negative impact on local livability. Simon said the Department of Environmental Quality already determined his plan to manage animal waste does not exceed pollution standards, however Kimbirauskas said this is evidence of the need for stricter standards.

Megadairy steps in it Years before industrial-scale chicken farms in the Mid-Willamette Valley were

the focus of CAFO debate, a Morrow County dairy approved for up to 30,000 head of cattle created a dustup that almost led to a moratorium on CAFO permits as legislators, including Denbrow, sought regulatory overhaul. Lost Valley Farm was granted a CAFO permit in 2017 and began operating that April, but shortly afterward state regulators learned the farm was unable to manage animal waste according to its approved plan. For months onward, cow manure accumulated in the millions of gallons and regularly contaminated local groundwater, despite state regulators directing the farm to correct the problem under the threat of fines. After imposing $187,000 in civil penalties – the largest at the time for such an offense – state regulators sought an injunction against the farm in 2018. They reached a settlement with owner Greg te Velde in which he agreed to pay the fines over time and clean up the offending manure. But no cleanup occurred, fines went unpaid, and te Velde was found in contempt of court. He later declared bankruptcy, owing $78 million to various creditors related primarily to construction and startup costs at the dairy, and Lost Valley Farm ceased operations that October, leaving an estimated 20 million gallons of excessive manure for a potential new owner to deal with. The property was sold in 2019 to Easterday Farms, of Pasco, Washington, which applied for a CAFO permit in 2020 to operate a dairy on a similar scale to Lost Valley Farm. However, Easterday Farms declared bankruptcy the following year and their CAFO permit remains pending until the bankruptcy is settled. In response to the Lost Valley Farm debacle, lawmakers sought a moratorium on CAFO permits in the lead up to the 2019 legislative session so the state could review its current policies and consider possible reforms, including stricter regulations on daries with more than 2,500 cattle. Dairy advocates said this was an overreaction and claimed the problem with Lost Valley Farm was not the volume of animals but te Velde’s poor management, and argued farmers at large should not endure stricter regulations because of one bad actor.

16 • August 2022

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No new laws related to CAFO permits managed to pass in 2019, however the Oregon Department of Agriculture adopted a new two-step approval process for CAFO permits in which a farmer first receives approval to construct their facility, then receives approval to populate and operate the farm after the facility is completed.

Information first, policy second Denbow was on a 2018 work group that recommended this policy change, and said his past experience with CAFO operations is why he wanted to help lead the current work group. Though he has advocated for CAFO reform in the past, he said on July 7 the work group’s goal is to foster discussion and gather diverse input, and legislation is not an inevitable outcome. “This is an opportunity for you all to ask questions of one another, and to make this a very interactive process,” Dembrow said.“We’ve tried hard to convene a group that represents a variety of backgrounds and special interests.” Sen. Jeff Golden (D-Ashland), chair of the committee that formed the work group, also emphasized its fact-finding purpose. “There’s no foregone conclusion that this will lead to legislation, or that it won’t,” he said, adding work group members should, “think of this as a very long informational hearing on the topic.” Golden, who does not serve on the work group himself, said so many individuals were interested in serving that a special meeting for Aug. 31 was scheduled solely for public input. Other meetings included a discussion on land use scheduled for July 27, water use scheduled for Aug. 12, and a final meeting to discuss findings and potential policy recommendations Sept. 15. These meetings are held remotely and are open to the public, and can be attended through the Senate Committee On Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery webpage or by emailing Beth Patrino at Beth.Patrino@oregonlegislature.gov.

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Sports & Recreation

New approach

Regis, Santiam will play 9-man football

Stayton-area football teams will be facing some new opponents and new structure this fall. The biggest change is in Class 2A, where the Oregon School Activities Association has instituted a 9-man model because of declining roster sizes. Regis and Santiam both will be playing 9-man as part of the Tri-River Conference. League opponents for the Rams and Wolverines include Blanchet Catholic, Chemawa, Colton, Culver, Gervais and Willamina. Regis opens the season with a non-league matchup Sept. 2 at Gaston. Santiam debuts at Knappa on Sept. 2. The Rams and Wolverines will face off Oct. 28 in Mill City. Stayton and Cascade will be playing in a reshuffled Class 4A Special District 2. Gone from last year’s district foes are Woodburn and Newport. Sweet Home stays, but new for this season are Marist Catholic of Eugene, Cottage Grove, Junction City and Philomath. Stayton opens Sept. 2 against visiting

third team and Noah Koenig received honorable mention.

Molalla, while Cascade debuts with a Saturday, Sept. 3 home game against Baker. The rivalry game between the Cougars and Eagles is Oct. 28 in Stayton. Baseball Update: Regis, which finished 21-9 overall and turned in a pair of playoff wins to advance to the Class 2A-1A quarterfinals, made its presence felt on the all-district and all-state teams. Pitcher Tanner Manning of the Rams was named Special District 3 player of the year. He was joined on the first team by infielder Max Eaton, outfielder Kollin Schumacher, catcher Noah Koenig and utility player Mason Koenig. Outfielders Tristan McMullen and Cody Ditter were placed on the second team. Manning also was a first-team all-Class 2A-1A choice, while Eaton and Schumacher made the

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Middle School Track and Field: Athletes from Cascade and Stayton both scored points in the Oregon Meet of Champions on May 26 at Bob Holt Stadium in Corvallis. Bryce May of Cascade took 7th in the shot put (41-11.5) and teammate Bryce Kuenzi was 7th in the javelin (1314). For Stayton, Jerry Gallion finished 7th in the 800 in 2:11.73.

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Regis entered the playoffs as the No. 11 seed but took out No. 22 Illinois Valley 2-1 in 9 innings and No. 6 St. Paul 4-1 before falling 4-3 to Knappa in the quarterfinals. Regis also turned in the top cumulative grade-point average among 2A-1A teams, scoring a 3.62 GPA.

Stayton Runs: B. Wagar of Stayton also was a winner in the 5K trail run as part of Stayton’s 4th of July runs, which attracted 171 participants. Wagar ran 20:34.1 to barely edge Michelle Rose, 34, who ran 20:34.9. Kyle Bandtel, 37, of Sublimity won the 3K walk in 17:40.0, with Gwen Schwartz, 54, of Alliance, Ohio, 2nd in 24:07.5 Todd Coblentz, 54, of Stayton took first in the 3K run in 10:47.9. Emily Kroeker, 18, of Aumsville was 4th overall and the top female finisher in 14:30.2. Richard Boyer, 57, of Albany was the winner in the 10K trail race in 34:37.9. Julia Schwartz, 19, of Alliance, Ohio, was 4th overall and the first woman finisher in 44:53.5.

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August 2022 • 17


A Grin at the End

Northwest passage

Strange things are done in the midnight sun

Just got back from Alaska. I hadn’t been in the Great White North for 27 years, and I was anxious to see how things had changed.

one of the walls has caved in — but the mosquito population was healthy. We made a mandatory pilgrimage to Denali National Park, where we hiked one of the trails. Ironically, we didn’t see any wildlife until we got in the car and took a drive. We saw a grizzly bear, a caribou and four moose – without getting out of the car. So much for hiking.

As it turned out, not much. Alaska was, is and continues to be a whole different ball game. Not only is the weather unlike anything you’ll ever find in the Lower 48 – 35 below zero is part of a “warm” winter – but it has plenty of snow. We were there in the middle of June, and you could still see huge piles of snow along the roads. Last winter, Fairbanks got something like ten feet of the white stuff.

No one talked much about politics, other than dismissively. After all, where you have gold, real estate and Caterpillar equipment, you really don’t need politicians. They just get in the way. During our time in Fairbanks, I visited some of my old stomping grounds. The University of Alaska – a.k.a. the Harvard of the North – was one stop. It’s one of only a few universities with its own rocket launchpads, which are used to study the aurora borealis. It also has a musk ox farm and a great view of the Alaska Range.

The people are different, too. Joe Vogler, who years ago was a legend in the movement to help Alaska secede from the union, once famously said that he believed in only three things – “gold, real estate and Caterpillar equipment.” During our recent stay in Alaska, most conversations revolved around those three things.

After all, it was nearly midnight. He was invited to — I’m paraphrasing here – “get lost.”

I also paid a visit to the log cabin I lived in during 1976. It’s seen better days —

We also witnessed a fist fight at a grocery store. A guy was trying to steal a couple of containers of ice cream and the manager was convincing him otherwise. This led to fisticuffs, with the manager winning on points. The cops were called, and the miscreant was escorted to jail.

The night we arrived was the Midnight Sun 10-kilometer race. It started at 11 p.m. in the broad daylight and was unlike any race I had ever seen. Next to where we were standing was an “aid” station for the runners, but instead of handing out cups of water or sports drinks, they handed out cans of beer, which runners consumed without even breaking stride.

Robert Service once wrote that “there are strange things done in the midnight sun.” It was true in 1907 when it was published, and it’s true today. And frankly, I’m looking forward to going back, maybe in another 27 years. Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor. He lived in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Wrangell and Juneau, Alaska, for a total of 20 years.

Across the street, a bluegrass band played. The only time the music was interrupted was when some guy apparently wanted the band to stop.

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