Our Town South: Dec. 1, 2021

Page 1

Helping Hands


Girl Scout earns Silver Award for wildfire victims’ blankets– Page 8

Vol. 18 No. 11

Cyber Nerdz provides tech-savvy place to learn, work – Page 18


Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama

December 2021

Bazaars... back in the (St.) Nick of time – Page 12 Our Town 2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton, Or 97383



Sports & Recreation

Cascade volleyball wins State title – Page 20

Historic Downtown






a Better Downtown


Get Involved in Your Downtown

3.5” x 2” 3.5” x 2”

Days Gone By

David CC Eder David Eder

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• Dixie Bell Paint

• Break the Chain

• 3rd Avenue Boutique

• Moxieberry Kitchen Store

• Friends of the Library

• Rockin’ Rodeo • The Branding Stitch ourtownlive.com

Iron Clad 220 E. Ida St. Our Town Santiam


20 Regis chapel brought back to light........4

Civics 101 Sublimity takes part in water survey... 15

Update Lawsuits filed for fire responsibility.......6

A Slice of the Pie............17 Business

Helping Hands Habitat pilot program launches.............6 Girl Scout makes, donates 50 blankets...8 Something to Think About Three SHS students overdose............... 10

Cyber Nerdz provides space, skills in tech....................................... 18

Sports & Recreation


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

Something for the Soul

Cascade volleyball takes state title........20


On the Cover


Check out bazaars and other seasonal events in time for the holidays in Datebook.

The Cascade High School football team.



In October of 2021, the median sales price of the residential home sales under ½ acre in Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons, & Mehama was $475,000 which is a 25% increase from October 2020. The average days on market of the homes sold in October was 31 days, which is a 64% decrease from October 2020.

Paula Mabry Editor & Publisher

Dan Thorp Graphic Artist

Steve Beckner Custom Design

George Jeffries Advertising Executive

Sara Morgan Datebook Editor

Jim Day

Sports & more

Our Town Santiam

DeeDe Williams

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

Office Manager

The deadline for placing an ad in the Jan. 1 issue is Dec. 19.

Tavis Bettoli-Lotten

Calendar listings are free for community events. Submissions must include date, time, location and cost. Submissions for the Jan. 1 issue are due Dec. 19. Email calendar items to: datebook@mtangelpub.com

Copy Editor

Thank you for spending time with Our Town. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Have Whitney and Mike Ulven of Silverton Realty lead you on your journey home!

Whitney & Mike Ulven whitney@silvertonrealty.com

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303 Oak St. Silverton • www.SilvertonRealty.com Whitney & Mike Ulven, Brokers Licensed in the State of Oregon.


Our Town is mailed free to residents and businesses in the 97383, 97385, 97358 and 97325 zip codes. Subscriptions outside the area are $38 annually

Contributing Writers & Photographers Mary Owen • Carl Sampson • Melissa Wagoner • Stephen Floyd

Jim Church

Delana Johnson Brian Heinrich

Ryan Church


delana@powerautogroup.com brian@powerautogroup.com








December 2021• 3

Something for the Soul


Regis High School chapel restored, rededicated, revived

By Mary Owen

between the two brought new energy to restore the chapel to its former use.

The original, iconic Regis Christ the King Chapel has been restored to its former status as the “heart” of the Stayton campus.

According to Bauer, the original project completed in 2015 was minus glass doors that would have allowed the chapel to be used for school liturgies up to 150 individuals. Due to budget constraints, the project was not fully completed, but the interior of the chapel was “beautiful and functional for small gatherings and class Masses,” Bauer said.

“The completion of the Regis Christ the King Chapel project, like the other projects completed this past summer, were both transformational and created positive synergy,” said Mike Bauer, a Regis icon in his own right. Bauer, who is coming up on 50 years on the Regis faculty, added, “The rediscovered chapel brought people together in the planning process that has led to rich discussions and a shared vision of the value of this sacred space.” The background behind the transformation begins with the opening in 1963 of Regis High School, a Catholic campus that as Bauer said, “has graduated countless students who have gone on to become contributors to their communities.” In early 2000, the school added on to the existing gym, resulting in Mass and other religious activities being moved to the new Regis Student Center. Bauer said the original chapel in the original library/administrative center fell into disuse, “save for a few team prayer services and as a useful storage area.”

The restored Christ the King Chapel at Regis High.


In 2014, the creation of the Regis Aspire Center adjacent to the chapel and the installation of a stained-glass cross

Regis graduate Keith Kintz completed two masterpiece-quality stained glass windows as a chapel highlight. The original plan included foldable glass doors that provided a line of sight to the altar for school Masses and other large liturgical celebrations from the dome area. The remodel was completed without this final

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addition and put on hold for a future date.

The project started with a goal of a little over $15,000 which Bauer said was supported “with a few generous donations.”

“This past summer, a group of alumni secured funding and glass doors were installed to make the space usable for large groups,” Bauer said. “The chapel project has given the larger Regis/St. Mary community a chance to be involved and contribute to the spiritual growth of our student community.”

“But as building costs grew over the summer almost $38,000 was needed to complete the project,” he added. “Once again more generous donors joined the cause.” Funding was also secured to upgrade the rest of the administration building, he added.

The Regis Theology department is using the restored chapel as part of its curriculum, helping students develop their faith, he said.

“One of the true miracles of the remodel and upgrade is how so many really good ideas have been blended to produce excellent office spaces for administrative personnel, a new board room for meetings, a new counseling and career center, and an efficient use of all the space in the original dome-shaped building,” Bauer said.

“With the return to a more normal school experience for students, the hope of an enhanced-faith experience for our students that has been missing these past months has been provided,” Bauer said. “We have already had several Masses, prayer services and activities in the chapel, thanks to Jim Tabor and his determination to use the chapel as the center of his theology classes. Students seem to be embracing and appreciating the new sacred space.”

“A truly modern space has been created suitable for the next 60 years of the school’s existence.”

The chapel will be able to serve small intimate gatherings of 40 or under when the space is configured as an adoration chapel or larger groups of up to 150 when configured as a church, Bauer said.

The chapel entrance when under construction.

open to the community,” he said. “There will be a variety of prayer services, speakers and private time. The adoration chapel will be open to individuals whenever not in use.”

“We will have all school Masses for students, staff, and

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Regis St. Mary Catholic School held a dedication ceremony for the new chapel Nov. 17, with former principal Monsignor Tim Murphy and former chaplain and counselor, Monsignor Greg Moys as the co-celebrants.


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December 2021 • 5


Lawsuits fueled By Mary Owen In September 2020, “critical and extremely critical fire weather conditions set the stage for perhaps the most destructive fire season in Oregon history,” according to a report provided to three Portland law firms. Nicole Brewer, an Oregon-based fire investigator for Envista Forensics, was hired by Stoll Berne, attorneys for a classaction lawsuit against PacifiCorp and Pacific Power by a number of plaintiffs who lost their homes in the four fires that Labor Day: Beachie Creek (Santiam Canyon), Echo Mountain (Otis), South Obenchain (Shady Cove) and Two-FourTwo (Chiloquin). Stoll, Stoll, Berne, Lokting & Shlachter, P.C., is working with Keller Rohrback, L.L.P., and Nick Kahl, L.L.C., to represent fire victims, including those in the Santiam Canyon. “This case involves what Gov. Kate Brown has said could be the ‘greatest loss in human lives and property in our

Investigator’s 2020 fire report blames power companies

state’s history,’” said Cody Berne, attorney for Stoll Berne, in a motion to the Multnomah Circuit Court. In the motion, Berne alleges evidence shows that “PacifiCorp is likely responsible for most of that loss. The utility for years failed to prepare for fires, failed to properly maintain its electrical equipment, and failed to manage vegetation that encroaches on that equipment.” In an interview on Nov. 23, Berne said PacifiCorp knew as early as Sept. 3, 2020 that the windstorm was coming but took no steps to prevent its equipment from contributing to or causing fires. Consequently, the 2020 Oregon fires burned over 1.2 million acres, destroyed over 3,000 buildings, and took 11 lives, five of which were lost in the Beachie Creek Fire. PacifiCorp said a comprehensive Wildfire Mitigation Plan was in place and that a public safety power shutoff, a measure designed to help keep people and communities in high-risk areas safe, would

only be taken as a “last resort.” Berne said no later than noon on Sept. 6, PacifiCorp knew that Portland General Electric was warning that it may have to proactively de-energize lines because of the storm. “Later that evening, David Lucas, PacifiCorp’s vice president in charge of transmission and distribution operations, emailed a forecast to another executive, highlight ‘winds could gust as high as 70 mph’ on Monday and ‘65 mph’ on Tuesday,” Berne said. “The warnings went all the way to Pacific Power’s CEO.” Berne noted that the U.S. Forest Service warned PacifiCorp and others bluntly, “Our fire danger indices already show extreme fire danger going into this wind event, meaning it will only take one tiny spark to create a dangerous wildfire,” he said. “PacifiCorp did not take action, even as it watched the storm bring down power lines, starting fires as it moved across Washington and Oregon.” The motion alleges PacifiCorp was indifferent to the extreme danger, did

not proactively shut off power, leading people to question why power wasn’t shut off sooner. Witnesses reported damaged power lines were sparking and arcing many hours after the fires ignited, and downed power lines fed a series of small fires that caused the Beachie Creek Fire to grow, said Berne. During a Beachie Creek site inspection, Bryan Spitulski who has conducted fire investigations for more than 25 years, said the damage he saw was the most severe he had seen in his career. “PacifiCorp employees traded emails about a news report involving the Santiam Fire, including ‘at least 13 new fires were started between Detroit and Mehama from down powerlines during the peak of Monday’s wind event,’” Berne said. PacifiCorp maintains that the wildfires are an “act of God” and that the winds caused existing fires to spread, according to reports. The lawsuit will move forward once a final report on the fires is issued by federal and state officials.

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Helping Hands

Ramps & Rails By Mary Owen A new repair program initiated by Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley will help area homeowners. “This is a pilot program,” said Jerry Ambris, Habitat’s executive director. “The purpose is to partner with incomequalified homeowners who earn between 30-80 percent of the Area Median Income to make repairs on their home. As the program is being launched, the repairs that are available are external ramps and rails/ ADA accessibility to enable homeowners access to their homes.” For the pilot Ramps & Rails program, cost is between $1,500 and $3,000, with a sliding scale repayment based on the homeowner’s income, Ambris said. “Our intention is to grow the program in the future to make more substantial repairs that might include home preservation, critical home repair, weatherization and interior accessibility modifications,” he added. “We do not have the capacity at this time to partner

Pilot program launched by Habitat

with homeowners who gap in funding from their insurance claims to repair or rebuild their home.” Kim Parker-Llerenas, executive director for Willamette Workforce Partnership, said the program’s goal is to enable lowincome homeowners to continue to live in their homes in a “safe and affordable way for the long term.” To launch the program, Habitat received National Emergency Grant funding from WWP through a sub-contractor, Community Services Consortium, located in Albany. The funds enabled Habitat to hire Ken Blizzard as the construction trainer who will lead the program. “Our intention is to make the application available in January,” Ambris said. “Households will apply directly to our office.” According to the North Santiam Chamber of Commerce, the repair projects will help “revitalize the condition and appearance of a neighborhood, strengthen connections within a community, and help preserve

affordable housing stock.” Habitat for Humanity of the MWV is a member of the Santiam Long Term Recovery Group, which has been meeting since 2020 right after the Santiam fires. It is through this group, as well as through the Santiam Service Integration Team, social media and other partners, that Habitat will recruit families. “Since we are just launching this pilot, we will have more robust answers to questions in the coming months,” Ambris said. “The answers provided here are based on our knowledge at this time as we do the prep work to launch the program.” Volunteers are invited to help with this program, and opportunities will be posted at salemhabitat.org or contact Kattrina Osborn, director of programs and volunteers, at 503-342-1268 or send an email to Kattrina@salemhabitat.org. When available, applications can be dropped off at or mailed to Habitat for Humanity of the MWV is at 1220 12th St. SE, Salem, OR 97306.

All Around Logging LLC honored for wildfire work A Stayton logging firm was one of three named Oregon Operators of the Year for 2021 by the Oregon Board of Forestry. All Around Logging LLC of Stayton was recognized with the Operator of the Year award for Northwest Oregon. Owner Aaron Silbernagel was praised for helping numerous small landowners devasted by the Beachie Creek Fire in 2020. Silbernagel helped landowners assess what timber could be salvaged after the fire, which in September 2020 burned a total of 193,000 acres in eastern Marion and Linn counties. “Silbernagel worked not only to harvest burned trees but to find mills that would take scorched logs,” OBF officials said. “He then worked with the North Santiam Watershed Council and Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District to find native seedlings to help reforest burned areas up and down the Santiam Canyon.”

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December 2021 • 7

Helping Hands


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Girl Scout earns Silver Award for project By Mary Owen

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Several Santiam Canyon wildfire victims will have a warmer winter thanks to a Stayton Girl Scout. A member of Troop 21890, Mackenzie Grimes volunteered last year at Anthony Hall, the Santiam Integration Team distribution center, after the wildfires cost so many to lose their homes. “I was able to help the victims, hear their stories, and what their goals were after the fire,” Grimes said. “I decided to make blankets so they would have comfort, security and something of their own.” Grimes took a little over 50 hours to complete the 21 blankets. On each one, she included a Dr. Seuss quote for inspiration. “I got the material from Joann’s,” she added. “The cost of the material was about $450. My family did pay for some of it.”

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With the project, Grimes completed her Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. The award requires girls to go on a Cadette journey, identify issues they care about, build their own Silver Award team or go solo, explore their community, pick and develop a Take Action project, make and put a plan into motion, and reflect by sharing their stories and celebrate. According to Girl Scouts of the USA,


earning the award puts these Girl Scouts among “an exceptional group of girls who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world.” The 14-year-old Stayton High School freshman said making the blankets for wildfire victims made her feel as if she was helping them in a small way. “It also made me feel like I was supporting our community,” said Grimes, who has volunteered for many types of events. “Some repeat events were the Stayton Relay for Life, Christmas Storybook Land, Letter Carrier event and for SIT.” Grimes received a lot of “great job” messages, including “way to set an example,” “an amazing job,” “hard work pays off,” and “this will make a difference in the lives of others.” One response was, “Wow, that’s a lot of blanketies!” and another, “Those can be so time consuming! Super job!” Grimes has been a Girl Scout for three years and as of Oct. 1, graduated from Cadette to Senior in the organization. She is the daughter of Melanie Stigen and John Grimes, and has two older brothers, Sean and Dakota. She enjoys volleyball, listening to music, skateboarding as well as volunteering. “I’ve lived in Stayton my whole life,” Grimes said. “I want to be a teacher.”

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December 2021 • 9

Something to Think About

Overdosed By Mary Owen

COVID-19 may have contributed to high school students’ drug use Department investigation prevent identification of the students involved.

Consequences A l w A ofy using S Adrugs c chitehome ptiNg New pAtieNtS “We may never know exactly what was when three Stayton High School students Aoverdosed N d Ain lback-to-back l t y p e S oused,” F iStorey N Ssaid ur AN c e S“We of the overdoses. recently do know that alcohol and Adderall played incidents on Nov. 18 and 19. a role in at least one of the situations. We Two of the students were transported by suspect that Adderall or other prescribed ambulance to area hospitals. medication may have played a role in other situations.” “The vast majority of the students at SHS are not involved in illicit drug use,” Storey said SHS has no evidence that Principal Vicky Storey said. “While I can’t links the two incidents, but believes the speak to other schools, I would assume problem increasing. Carl W Leder, Large, Hanh Ramirez, MariaisFife, this isLance true of all schoolsKelly in our district. PA-Cus to MDof our tips that allow FNP-BC “While we’ve had an increasePA-C in incidents In fact, most requiring medical care, we know that catch students using drugs on campus mental health played a role in at least come from students who do not want two of these incidents,” she said. “We these substances on campus. have had incidents involving drugs like “It’s important to note that last week’s nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, as well as Treatment Illness incidents involved approximately eight of of Chronic prescription medication like Adderall our 683 students,” she added. “The majority and Xanax in the past. such as Diabetes/Hypertension of our students are not involved in behaviors “Since the legalization of marijuana for like this and are proactive in notifying adults Preventative Care • Sports adults over Medicine the age of 21, we have noted when they see things that concern them.” an increase in the availability of marijuana Pediatrics • Geriatrics • Womens’ Health Care Santiam High School policy on for our students,” she added. “We also minors and an ongoing Stayton Police have seen a dramatic increase in the use

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of nicotine products – vapes – with our students in recent years. Unfortunately, these products are readily available online to youth and some take them from home.” Storey believes COVID-19 has played a role in the increase of adolescent drug use, including nicotine. “Students who use these products were able to do so without school interference for over 18 months,” she said. “My suspicion is that we have many young people addicted to nicotine products right now across the country.” Since SHS is primarily an educational system, Storey said limited resources within the community are available to support youth addiction. The high school works closely with the Stayton police when students are caught with illegal substances, she said. “Our focus is primarily prevention,” Storey said. “We have found that parents, for the most part, are very supportive of school actions. Unfortunately, parents often face the same limited resources that

the school faces when trying to support their students in stopping.” So, what are the consequences for students who have violated the district’s drug and alcohol-free stand? “The administrative team looks at district policy first and foremost,” Storey said. “When appropriate, we work with Stayton PD and students are often cited for minor in possession, or worse, depending on what is found and the student’s background. Students who violate our policies typically are suspended from school for a period of time. Discipline can vary depending on if it is a first offense or a repeated offense. Students who have distributed drugs or alcohol to other students can face expulsion. “We are working to find more resources for our students and hope to have more available in future months as we continue to support families as the pandemic eases,” said Andy Gardner, North Santiam School District superintendent.

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Merry Christmas During the holidays more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. In this spirit we say, simply but sincerely, Thank You!

From our family to yours, we wish you the very best this Holiday Season.

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December 2021 • 11

A Silent Night, a Star Above, a Blessed Gift of Hope and Love

Wishing you and your family the gifts of Peace, Joy and Good Health – Now and through the New Year!

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Data gathering By Mary Owen

been manufactured and used in a variety of commercial products since the 1940s – from everyday household items to firefighting foam – due to their heat, moisture and stain resistance, and non-stick qualities. These chemicals do not break down in the environment or the human body and can accumulate over time. Evidence supports that exposure to certain PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects, according to an OHA press release.

Sublimity’s public drinking water system is one of 150 throughout the state to be monitored by the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of chemicals that are becoming a nationwide health concern. According to the OHA, public water systems were selected if they had not previously been sampled for PFAS and their well or intake was near a potential source of PFAS chemicals.

“Potential sources of PFAS chemicals primarily include sites where AFFF firefighting foams are stored or used, such as fire training sites, airports, fuel storage sites, and railyards; locations where PFAS may have been discharged or disposed, including landfills and wastewater discharges; and clean-up sites where PFAS are known to have been released to soil or groundwater,” said Jonathan Modie, lead communications officer with the OHA.

Public Works Director Alan Frost assures residents that, to date, Sublimity has had no chemical detects of any kind from their groundwater sources. “In Oregon, 65 public water systems monitored for PFAS compounds from January 2013 through December 2015 had no detections,” Frost said.

The two agencies began testing statewide on Oct. 11 from systems that each serve fewer than 10,000 people. Systems were

The OHA describes PFAS as a group of thousands of different chemicals that have


identified as potentially at risk because of their proximity to a known or suspected PFAS use or contamination site. The purpose of the monitoring project is to make sure customers are not being exposed to potentially harmful PFAS chemicals in their water. “Samples will be collected by Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lab staff and the analysis is being paid for through an EPA grant and will be done free of charge,” Frost said. “If PFAS results are over a health advisory level, water systems may consider taking actions such as installing treatment or changing water sources.” Modie described PFAS as unregulated contaminants, but Oregon has set health advisory levels for four PFAS chemicals at 30 parts per trillion to inform water systems and customers of potential health risks. “If there are detections above levels considered safe, a confirmation sample would be collected,” Modie said. “If the confirmation sample is above safe

limits, OHA will assist the water system with preparing a public notice to notify customers. According to Modie, OHA Drinking Water Services has programs to provide technical and financial assistance to waters systems impacted by PFAS. “However, the water system is ultimately responsible for providing safe water,” he said. Cost to treat an impacted system “would depend on the type of treatment, size of the system, and concentration of contaminants.” Common treatment methods include use of granular activate carbon or ion exchange, Modie said. “If needed, treatment costs are eligible for low-cost financing under the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund program,” he said. Additional information about PFAS and the sampling project is available on the OHA Drinking Water PFAS webpage: www.oregon.gov/OHA.

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503-769-5654 • 1215 W. Washington st., stayton


December 2021 • 15

datebook Datebook Submission Information Get your events and fundraisers published in Our Town. Send your releases to datebook@mtangelpub. com. Or drop them off at 2340 Martin Dr., Stayton •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Frequent Addresses Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Stayton Community Center, 400 W Virginia St. Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Weekly Events Monday

Stayton Community Food Bank, 9 a.m. - noon, 1210 Wilco Road. Repeats Monday - Friday. 503-769-4088 Santiam Senior Center, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 41818 Kingston-Jordan Road, Stayton. Seniors 50 and older. 503-7672009, santiamseniorcenter.com Senior Meals, 11:30 a.m. Delivery only. Age 60 and older. Serves Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Gates, Lyons, Marion, Mehama. Repeats Wednesday, Friday. $3 donation suggested. Ginger, 503-769-7995. Community Yoga, 7 p.m., St. Patrick’s Hall, 362 Seventh St., Lyons. Suggested donation $5 - 15. All levels welcome. Repeats Wednesday. Kathy, mail2reed@ gmail.com


Storytime, 11 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. For children and family members of all ages. Register: staytonoregon.gov/ page/library_calendar or at the library. Dec. 7, 14, 21. 503-769-3313 ESL, GED, Citizenship Classes, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Repeats Thursdays. Mary, 503-779-7029.


Stayton/Sublimity Chamber Greeters, 8 a.m. Network building event for local business, non-profit professionals. Location varies. 503-769-3464. St. Boniface Archives and Museum, 9 a.m. - noon, 370 Main St., Sublimity. Free. 503-508-0312 Stayton Area Rotary, noon, Santiam Golf Club, 8724 Golf Club Road, Aumsville. 503-508-9431 Griefshare, 6 - 8 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 SE Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. National nondenominational support group. Last group is Dec. 22. Register online at griefshare.org or contact Christy at 406-431-8256..

12 • December 2021


Mama’s Community Market, 1 - 6 p.m., Aumsville Pentecostal Church, 10153 Mill Creek Road, Aumsville. Food Pantry. 971-710-5665


Cars & Coffee, 9 a.m., Covered Bridge Cafe, 510 N Third Ave., Stayton. Bring classic vehicles for coffee, breakfast, cruise on country roads.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

Stayton/Sublimity Chamber Greeters

8:30 a.m., Spotlight Community Theatre, 383 N Third Ave., Stayton. Network building event for local business, nonprofit professionals. 503-769-3464.

Aumsville Planning Session

6 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center. Open to public. In person or Zoom. Zoom information at aumsville.us. 503-749-2030

Thursday, Dec. 2 Wintry Tales

10:30 a.m., Hiatt Christmas Trees, 13318 SE Triumph Road, Sublimity. Stayton Public Library presents a special winterthemed storytime. After storytime, pick up a free book and explore what the farm has to offer at your own pace. Open to all. No registration required.

Friday, Dec. 3 Marion SWCD First Friday

Sublimity Parade & Tree Lighting

6 p.m. Kickoff the Christmas season with a Christmas light parade through downtown Sublimity. After the parade, Santa is on hand to light the town Christmas tree at Early Settlers Park. Parade entry forms available at cityofsublimity.org. 503-769-5475

Monday, Dec. 6 Stayton City Council

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Livestream at youtu.be/ dW5TOolK7SE. 503-769-3425

Tuesday, Dec. 7

Aumsville Housing Needs Analysis

5 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center. Public open house to discuss the city’s housing needs and provide feedback on the preliminary work for the Housing Needs Analysis. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Stayton Parks & Rec Board

6 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. 503-769-2919

Wednesday, Dec. 8

Caregiver Connection

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.

10 a.m. Zoom. Learn about Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. Target audience is farmers and producers. Register at marionswcd.net.

Sublimity Parks and Recreation Board

Red Cross Blood Drive

Thursday, Dec. 9

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th St., Stayton. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Saturday, Dec. 4 31st Annual Santa Cruise In

9 a.m. - noon, Stayton Fire Station, 1988 Ida St. Cruise through the Stayton Fire Station to drop off a new, unwrapped toy. Hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies provided. See Santa. Participants are welcome to park and visit with friends in the west and south parking area after dropping off toys. Russ Stroymeyer, 503-930-8976.

Christmas Bazaar

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., The Spotlight, 383 N Third Ave., Stayton. Vendors, crafts, art, drawings. Kids and pets pictures with Santa11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Benefits Spotlight Theatre. 503-302-0936, spotlightct.com

Class of 2022 Can Drive

10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St. Save your empty bottles and cans, and drop them off at the Main Gym to support the Stayton High Class of 2022 all-night party.

6 p.m., Sublimity City Hall, 245 NW Johnson St. Open to public. 503-7695475, cityofsublimity.org

Gingerbread Cookie Kits

11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Pick up a kit with a gingerbread cookie to decorate for the holidays. While supplies last. Free. 503-769-3313

Holiday Sip n Shop

4 - 8 p.m., Marketplace at The Grove, 351 N Third Ave., Stayton. Shopping, wine, appetizers. Spend $50 or more and get a free item.

Aumsville Fire District

6:30 p.m., Aumsville Fire Station, 490 Church St. Open to public. 503-7492894, aumsvillefire.org

Friday, Dec. 10 Holiday Fundraiser Event

7 p.m., The Spotlight, 383 N Third Ave., Stayton. Watch Miklos Laszlo’s And the Snow Falls on the big screen. $10 adults, $5 children. Tickets at spotlightcommunitytheatre.com. Benefits The Spotlight. Repeats 7 p.m. Dec. 11; 2 p.m. Dec. 12.


Saturday, Dec. 11 Mini Cheer Camp

8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Cascade High, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner. Cascade cheerleaders host camp to raise funds for the team. $25 per child. 8:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. K-4 grades. Parent showcase at 12:15 p.m. 5-8 grades 1 - 4 p.m. Parent showcase at 4:30 p.m. Email myrodriguezfamilia@ gmail.com to register.

Craft Bazaar

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

Old-Fashioned Christmas Storytime

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Marketplace at The Grove, 351 N Third Ave., Stayton. Storytime, Santa and shopping. Storytime at 10:30 a.m. Children can make a holiday craft to give as a gift. Free.

Christmas in the Park

5 - 7 p.m., Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St., Aumsville. Evening of caroling and Christmas tree lighting. Special visits from Santa and the Grinch. 503-749-2030

“The Nutcracker”

5 p.m., Stayton High, 757 W Locust St. Santiam Ballet Academy students perform “The Nutcracker.” $10; tickets at buy. tututix.com/santiamballetacademy. Repeats 1 p.m. Dec. 12. santiamballet.com

Sunday, Dec. 12 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

Monday, Dec. 13 Stayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Livestream at youtu.be/ ZuDsDpjj7RM. 503-769-2998

Aumsville City Council

7 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center. Open to public. 503-749-2030, aumsville.us

Sublimity City Council

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

Stayton Fire District

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

Lyons Fire District Board

7 p.m., Lyons Fire Station, 1114 Main St. Agenda available. Open to public. 503859-2410, lyonsrfd.org

Facebook.com: Our Town / Santiam

Lyons Library Board

7 p.m., Lyons Public Library, 279 Eighth St. 503-859-2366

Tuesday, Dec. 14

Marion Commissioners´ Breakfast

7:30 a.m., Covered Bridge Cafe, 510 N Third Ave., Stayton. Meet and talk with Marion County Commissioners. No decisions take place. Open to public.

Take & Make Kits

11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Stayton Public Library. Wintry lights for ages 3 - 11. Beaded snowflakes for teens. Mason jar lid wreaths for adults. One per person while supplies last. Free. 503-769-3313

RDS Board Meeting

6 p.m., The Box, 298 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. 503-749-8010, cascade.k12.or.us

Wednesday, Dec. 15 Stayton/Sublimity Chamber Greeters

8:30 a.m., Wilco Farm Store, 1385 N First Ave., Stayton. 503-769-3464

Stayton Library Board

Sunday, Dec. 19

Thursday, Dec. 16

3 - 9 p.m., Snow Peak Brewing, 280 E Water St., Stayton. Bring the family down to hang out with Santa, listen to live Christmas music. 503-767-2337

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

NSSD Board

6 p.m., District Office, 1155 N First Ave., Stayton. Board meeting for North Santiam School District. Open to public. 503-769-6924

Saturday, Dec. 18 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

Clothing Closet

11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Santiam Chapel Assembly of God, 440 Fifth St., Lyons. Open to all. Free. 503-859-2643, santiamchapel.org

Living Nativity

5 - 7 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Outdoor living Nativity. Drive by or stop in for cookies and hot chocolate. Donation of canned food will be gratefully accepted for the local food bank, but is not required. Repeats Dec. 19, 24. staytonumc.org

Christmas Fun with Santa

Monday, Dec. 20

Red Cross Blood Drive

Stayton City Council

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. Livestream at youtu.be/ dW5TOolK7SE. 503-769-3425

Tuesday, Dec. 21 Winter Solstice Thursday, Dec. 23 Lyons City Council

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

Friday, Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Worship Service

Saturday, Dec. 25 Christmas Day Sunday, Dec. 26 Kwanzaa Starts Monday, Dec. 27 1 - 6 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1077 N Sixth Ave., Stayton. Appointments needed by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Tuesday, Dec. 28 Lyons City Council

6:30 p.m., Lyons City Hall, 449 Fifth St. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-8592167, cityoflyons.org

Friday, Dec. 31 New Year´s Eve


Submissions To get your

7 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Uplifting Christmas message and music. Everyone welcome. Living Nativity will precede the service from 5 to 7 p.m. staytonumc.org

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

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December 2021 • 13

riendship is the thread that keeps us all connected. With warmth and sincerity, we thank you for the gift of yours and wish you all a very joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Sublimity Insurance Company 100 SW Sublimity Blvd. • Sublimity, OR 97385 503-769-6344 • www.sublimityins.com

16 • December 2021


Our Town Santiam

A Slice of the Pie

Navigating the maze I just spent an entire morning negotiating the administration and shipping of three specially ordered COVID tests so that my children and I can travel to visit their grandparents in a little over three weeks – and I’m still not sure I have it all straight. The challenge lies in the timing, in order to travel to this particular state, one must have, prior to boarding the flight, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result – administered by one of only a handful of specific testing partners no more than 72 hours prior to the last leg of the flight. Sounds easy, right? The answer, I’ve found, is – decidedly not. Last year our test was canceled, at the very last minute, as we sat in line, two hours from our home. No warning, the pharmacy just never received the supplies. With no other choice, we bumped our flight an entire week, feeling simultaneously grateful we were able to do so and frustrated that we had to. Instead we ordered saliva tests at $150 each, had them shipped directly to our home and spent a surreal morning logged on to Zoom where a very nice lab tech – how does one get that job? – sat for almost an hour watching each of the members of my family salivate into a tube. Then it was off to the nearest UPS drop-

COVID testing and the ins and outs of travel and heading, largely unencumbered to the gate. But those days were such a long time ago, I barely remember them. Now, I spend weeks making lists, packing bags, making sure everyone has his or her essential items. It’s tricky and it’s almost never perfect.

site so the vials could begin their trip, through a snowstorm, to a lab somewhere in the Midwest, where they would be processed – hopefully with negative results – in time for our flight. They did. But it was a harrowing time. Which is why this year I’d hoped to do things differently. I already have the tests. Now all we have to do is log on and spit. But wait! Our flight is on a Monday evening at five. The lab closes the Friday before, also at five – precisely when we need to take the tests. And the UPS drop-site? It closes around that time as well. There’s nothing to be done but move the test date to Saturday, decreasing our window to receive the results by over 12 hours. Needless to say, I’ve come to the conclusion that the days of easy travel are over – at least for a while. But I also find myself wondering, did they ever exist in the first place? Maybe before I had children, when flying involved shoving things in a backpack

Like the time I mistakenly packed my husband’s entire Goodwill pile instead of his to-go stack. Surprised, doesn’t quite describe his expression when he pulled shirt after interesting shirt from the suitcase with nothing else to go with them. He packs for himself these days. But it’s still a stressful time, arranging for a house sitter, a ride to the airport, a way to get home. Not to mention planning ahead with work and school. By the time we get to the airport I’m drained and jittery with nerves anticipating the TSA gauntlet ahead. Does everyone have his or her bag? Who needs to take off their shoes? What must come out of the suitcases and what can stay in? By the time we reach our gate I’m a wreck. But it used to be that at this point in the trip the worst was over. Once we made it through security I could relax. Not anymore. Now, after a long day of travel, of keeping everyone comfortable on a flight that no longer offers entertainment, food or any of the fun I remember from my childhood, when all I want to do is

Wishing you all the creature comforts for a perfect holiday season. We couldn’t ask for better friends than you.

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Our Town Santiam

get out of the airport and to the hotel… there’s COVID screening. When it’s all over – finally – we’re sent on our way, edgy and exhausted but excited to begin the vacation. Right? All of this is playing through my mind as I sit next to the stack of requisite tests, worrying about how it will all turn out. Will the results come through in time? Will they all be negative? What happens if they’re not? It really takes the fun out of planning a vacation, one that we’ve saved and prepared for all year. Gone is the anticipatory buzz of just thinking about the good times ahead. But wait, did I ever really feel that? As the honorary travel agent to my family of five, were those weeks ever full of warm and fuzzy thoughts. If I’m honest, maybe not. At least the added stress of COVID and vaccine card uploads will give me something much of the other vacation prep will not – the peace of mind that my family, as well as every other family on the plane, is free of COVID. When we land, my children will be able to hug their grandparents and aunt and uncle without hesitation knowing we’ve all been tested or are vaxed. And then, hopefully, I will finally be able to relax.


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December 2021• 17


Cyber Nerdz By Stephen Floyd When Corey Zuccaro teaches the Robotics Club at Stayton High School, he looks at his students and sees potential. The Army veteran and former SpaceX engineer has no trouble believing any of the teens in his program – or anyone from rural Marion County for that matter – could be the next innovator to shape the world. “Maybe somebody that we teach right here in Stayton will go on and be the next Elon Musk or Bill Gates,” he said. “Why not? Why can’t anybody here dream that big?” And just like any good electrical engineer, Zuccaro didn’t just ruminate on the idea, he did something to make it happen.

New Stayton electronics store offers pathway to tech careers would take apart his toys and study how the components worked. “If I got it back together again, that was another question,” he said. “But I usually did.” That curiosity led to service as an Army engineer, and later with SpaceX where he designed a hydrodynamic control system to protect the launch pad during liftoff, as well as the life support system for the prototype of their Mars habitat. But even after taking part in largescale innovations, Zuccaro said he finds working in his community and being his own boss more fulfilling. “I’m way happier to be doing this,” he said.

Cyber Nerdz employees Christian Dottridge, left, and Seth Darr.

Last month, Zuccaro opened Cyber Nerdz in Stayton Plaza (147 Washington St.), offering repair and customization of mobile devices, computers and gaming consoles. But that just scratches the surface of his plans for the business.

Zuccaro said he chose to open his store in Stayon not only for his work at the high school and the city’s proximity to his home in Lyons, but because local students would otherwise have to leave the area to find a solid introduction to electronics.

going to be people who build and design robots,” he said.

Zuccaro will offer classes for the curiousminded to learn the finer points of robotics, 3D printing, CAD design, computer programming, gaming and other technology-related skills his customers feel passionate about.

“The idea of ‘why Stayton?’ is specifically because there’s nothing from here to Salem,” he said. “There’s a lot of kids in this area who are unable to go that far.”

“I would find out what they’re into and I’d start out with that,” he said, “and help them evolve it into something more and more and more.”

High on his list of skills to teach is the science of robotics. Not just because it keeps students engaged, but because Zuccaro sees automation playing a larger role in industries from fast food to trucking in the coming years.

Zuccaro said his passion for technology and learning began as a kid when he

“The jobs out there that are going to be the highest, best, most rewarding jobs are

Another focus will be video game tutoring. Though gaming is often thought of as merely personal entertainment, it has grown in popularity to the level of a competitive sport, with sponsors and even colleges offering lucrative incentives to top players. “They’re setting up e-sports arenas and are giving full scholarships for colleges like a star quarterback,” said Zuccaro. “It’s pretty mind-blowing, but that’s where we’re going.” And the computer skills developed through gaming translate well to positions within the Army and Department of Defense, which have begun actively


recruiting gamers, said Zuccaro. To help gamers hone their skills, or just hang out with friends, Cyber Nerdz will turn their classroom into a gaming venue on weekends, and can even accommodate private events of 20-or-so people. Outside of electronics repair and classes, Zuccaro said he hopes to meet the needs of local business. If a company depends heavily on computers to do their work, he plans to offer an insurance-type program where members would pay a regular rate and receive repair work as needed. He also said, if a business still runs on an older system such as Microsoft DOS, he’s able to fabricate circuit boards that are no longer manufactured for obsolete computers.


Family-owned for 30 years. Open 7 days a week to serve our community. Dine-in, Pick-up & Delivery. Large party room available for reservations. Full-service Liquor & Lottery.

Buy any Reg. Priced Large Pizza, Get a Medium Cheese Pizza for an additional $9.75, a savings of $7.25 Expires 12/31/21

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18 • December 2021


Facebook.com: Our Town / Santiam

that science can be used to make the impossible possible, with a personal connection to the skills taught at the store. Dottridge was born without his lower legs as a result of amniotic band syndrome, and as a young child learned he could use material around his home to build his own prosthetics. He said, just like Zuccaro, he had an inclination to take things apart and see how they worked, and used this natural ingenuity to move beyond his physical limitations.

Cyber Nerdz’s in-house 3D printer.

“My thing was, if someone thought I couldn’t do something, I was going to prove them wrong,” he said. “My whole life was always figuring out ways to do things everybody else could do.”

“Those things are ancient and you’re not going to find parts for them, so you’ll need to do board rebuilds,” he said.

Both men said they are glad to be working for a shop that helps them share their personal passions for learning and finding new possibilities.


Lovers of retro toys and games can also find something to appreciate, with shelves of old action figures, gaming hardware and comic books on display. Employee Seth Darr, who considers himself a “dedicated super-nerd,” said this world of sci-fi and fantasy dovetails with the practical science being taught at the store, because both allow people to envision a new reality. “With imagination, possibilities are endless,” said Darr. “If you can imagine whatever you want, there is some way to design and make it happen.” Employee Christian Dottridge agreed

Though Cyber Nerdz will focus on Stayton and nearby rural communities, Zuccaro said he hopes to eventually attract customers from Salem and beyond. Between the wide range of classes and their ability to work out creative solutions, he said the store should be able to meet almost any electronics need. “If there’s anything that breaks and it’s on something that’s important, on something electronic, we can fix it,” he said. Cyber Nerdz is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit their website at cyber-nerdz.com, or call 503-482-2922.

Why Go to Salem for Framing?

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O U R T OW N L I V E . C O M Facebook.com: Our Town / Santiam


December 2021 • 19


Sports & Recreation

State champions!

Cascade wins first 4A volleyball title

The Cascade High volleyball team captured the first state title in school history Nov. 6 by downing conference foe Sisters in 5 sets in the Class 4A championship match in Corvallis. It was the third meeting of the season between the Cougars and Sisters, with the two squads splitting matches in Oregon West Conference play. Juniors Meah Carley and Lucretia Benolken were named to the alltournament team. Carley has nine digs in the title match, while Benolken contributed 18 kills and 10 digs. Kenna Coleman had 55 assists and Annabelle Peterson added 17 kills for the Cougars, who took the deciding set 15-7. Benolken and Carly also made the allOWC team, with Cristina Williams winning Coach of the Year honors. Coleman and Jadyn Daviscourt were named to the second team, while Peterson and Emma Gates received honorable mention.

Blake Lewis ran for 107 yards for a score and Lance Van Hoose and 73 and a TD.

Stayton libero Mary Weitman made the second team, while teammates Madelynn Mitzel and Jessica Leimbach were on the honorable mention list. Football: Cascade advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals before falling 62-35 on Nov. 12 against Marist Catholic at Scio High. The No. 2 Cougars finished 10-1 overall after going undefeated in Special District 3 play (Oregon West Conference). Cascade led 28-26 late in the first half, but the Spartans regained the lead just before the half and dominated the final two periods. Cascade senior QB Jacob Hage rushed for 223 yards and 2 TDs, including an 86-yarder that opened the scoring.

“This team was special,” Cascade coach Brandon Bennett told Our Town. “They are one of two or three teams in school history to have an undefeated regular season. They broke a ton of records. What made them special was their work ethic, awesome attitudes to be around, and their determination to be great. The season did not end how we wanted it to, but they will always be remembered for what they accomplished.” Stayton, meanwhile, finished 4-6 after losing 37-0 to No. 3 Estacada in the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles were 3-1 in the OWC, losing only to Cascade. Cascade also dominated the all-district/ Oregon West Conference team. Bennett was named Coach of the Year, Hage was named offensive player of the year and DL Isaac Schnepp was named defensive player of the year. The first team offense featured Hage, TE

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Schnepp, RBs Lewis and Van Hoose, linemen Gavin Bond and Teagan Allen and place-kicker Colin Smittle. The second team featured Smittle as a WR and lineman Braxton Tucker. The first-team defense included linemen Bond and Schnepp, linebackers Lewis, Kellen Sande and Van Hoose and DBs Hage and Rogue Newton. Shawn Kuenzi was a second-team DB, while Hage (punter), Kuenzi (RB), Smittle (DB) and Trenton Wymore (LB) received honorable mention. For Stayton, Aiden Lulay was a firstteam pick at offensive tackle as was wide receiver Nick Frith. QB Cody Leming, RB Eli Brown, TE Brock Hubert and linemen Owen O’Connor and Owen Schmidt were placed on the second-team. Lineman O’Connor, DB Brown and punter Frith were on the first-team defense, with Hubert (DL), LBs Easton Hughes and Ty Borde and DB Frith on the second team. Eagles Jonathan Daniels (LB), Gabe Erickson (DL), Travis King

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Facebook.com: Our Town / Santiam

Sports Datebook Wednesday, Dec. 1

Girls Basketball 5:30 p.m. Cascade vs North Marion (WR), Mason Maurer (OL), Mason Peronek (LB) and Ray Vincent (OL) received honorable mention. Boys Soccer: Stayton, which tied Philomath for the Oregon West Conference title, entered the Class 4A playoffs as the top seed. However, the Eagles fell to No. 16 Ontario on penalty kicks in the opening round and did not advance. Girls Soccer: Diana Burrell and Ariel Tobiasson of Cascade and Tori Nyquist of Stayton were named second team all-Oregon West Conference. Halli Nyquist, Alissa Humphreys, Jenica Trujillo, Adrianna Frank, Rian Hill and Christine McCants received honorable mention for the Eagles, as did Tatiana Yaknitsa of Cascade. Cross Country: Junior Hope Bridge of Stayton took 27th in 21:09.70 at the Class 4A state championships Nov. 6 at Lane Community College in Eugene.

Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Stayton vs Estacada 7 p.m. Cascade vs North Marion Saturday, Dec. 4

Wrestling TBD: Cascade Tournament Monday, Dec. 6

Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Stayton vs Banks Thursday, Dec. 9

Girls Basketball 5:30 p.m. Stayton vs North Marion Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Stayton vs North Marion Friday, Dec. 10

Girls Basketball 5:30 p.m. Cascade vs Marshfield

Follow me on Twitter.com @jameshday.

Home Game Varsity Contests

Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs Marshfield Saturday, Dec. 11

Girls Basketball 2:30 p.m. Regis vs Riverdale Boys Basketball 4 p.m. Regis vs Riverdale Monday, Dec. 13

Girls Basketball 6 p.m. Regis vs Colton Boys Basketball 7:30 p.m. Regis vs Columbis Christian tuesday, Dec. 14

Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs Gladstone Thursday, Dec. 16

Girls Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs Molalla Friday, Dec. 17

Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Stayton vs St. Helens Friday, Dec. 17-18

Boys Basketball TBD: Regis Holiday Tournament


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Girls Basketball TBD: Regis Holiday Tournament Saturday, Dec. 18

Wrestling TBA: Stayton SCTC Duals Girls Basketball 5:15 p.m. Stayton vs St. Helens Thursday, Dec. 21 - 22

Girls Basketball TBD: Cascade Holiday Classic Tuesday, Dec. 28-30

Boys & Girls Basketball TBA: Stayton SCTC Holiday Classic Wednesday, Dec. 29

Girls Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs Silverton Thursday, Dec. 30

Swimming 10 a.m., Stayton Christmas Invitational

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December 2021 • 21

A Grin at the End

Congratulatory antics

A bit too much, a bit too often

As a red-blooded, all-American guy, I’ve been watching a lot of football these days. There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon of watching highly paid athletes knock heads with one another to lower the stress level. But as I watched the games I noticed something – actually, it was pretty hard to miss. Often, when a player caught a pass or made a touchdown, he would spend the next few minutes celebrating. He would strut around flexing his muscles. Occasionally, his teammates would join in with some sort of jumping around. If you’re the Green Bay Packers quarterback – I forget his name – he announces to the Chicago Bears’ fans that he “owns” them. I spent some time in Chicago when I was in college. All I know is he better be careful or some Chicago fans are going to “own” his car. Even when a defensive player makes what appears to be a routine tackle, he pops up and struts around like Mick Jagger in heat.


about. That’s just good management.

And when he puts the nozzle in the gas receptacle?

It’s self-congratulations that are a bit annoying. Even teams that, to use the parlance, “are a dog’s breakfast,” seem to spend half their time celebrating the most basic tackle.

“Damn I’m good! How about a high five?” Add a victory dance when he hands you the receipt. I’m not a legal expert, but I bet that in their contracts their duties are listed. Among them: scoring touchdowns and tackling and blocking the other teams. In other words, those are the expectations. They are doing nothing more than what they are paid for. Good for you. You did your job. This got me thinking. What would happen if we all celebrated the basics of our jobs? Take, for example, the guys who pump gas. Why shouldn’t they celebrate their achievements just like football players? Stick the credit card in the slot on the pump?

“I own you!” Or when a teacher coaches a student though an algebra problem, he, or she, could holler, “That’s what I’m talking about!” Or, “You got this!” I can play that game, too. When I straighten out the syntax of a sentence, I could jump out of my chair and do a war whoop. Or when I send a story back to a writer for more information, I could flex my muscles and do a few fist pumps. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for enthusiasm. When someone does something above and beyond the normal I will go out of my way to let them know

I am reminded of how different Americans are from the Japanese. I occasionally work with a freelance writer in Tokyo. One time he made a mistake in one of his stories. His apology went something like this: “I lie prostrate on the ground, seeking your forgiveness.” I’m not saying that everyone who makes mistakes should lie face down on the floor and beg for mercy. All I’m saying is to save the celebrations for the truly special accomplishments. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to jump up and down and strut around about having this column finished. “Nailed it!” Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor.



On this holy night so long ago, our Savior, Prince of Peace was born, bringing His light and love to shine upon all the world for all time. For this, and our many blessings, we are deeply grateful and wish all our neighbors a truly miraculous holiday season.


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December 2021 • 23

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24 • December 2021


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