Our Town South: Dec. 1, 2023

Page 1

School Spotlights

Something Fun

School districts receive state report cards – Pages 8-10

New ‘husband daycare’ revitalizes historic Stayton space – Page 4

Vol. 20 No. 12


Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama

December 2023

Winning hard

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

– Page 21

– Page 10



Sports & Recreation

Ty Hart Memorial Fitness Center breaks ground – Page 20

The Holidays in

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Something Fun

New ‘mancave’ for the guys..................4


Legal Matters

More ruffled feathers over chickens....... 5 Attorneys seek fees from ‘opt-outs’.......6 Aumsville man captured in Silverton.....6

General Clean-up

Marketplace.....................7 School Spotlight

North Santiam gets mixed report.......... 7 Cascade scores show ups and downs....... 8


Arts & Entertainment Spotlight radio presents Blondie.........12

Sports roundup................................. 21

Helping Hands

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

PacifiCorp awards grants.................... 10 Reed leads Teen Center.......................12

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Above Robyn Moore of Once Upon a Memory jewelry. MELISSA WAGONER


Jeweler creates precious reminders.....14

Farmer’s Notebook Where the kiddos help with the kids... 17

Datebook............................18 Sports & Recreation

On the Cover Top: Cascade volleyball players and coaches after returning from the Class 4A state tournament in Springfield. SUBMITTED Bottom: A crew of volunteers organized by Trailkeepers of Oregon working on Santiam

SHS breaks ground for Hart Center.....20

State Forest. TRAILKEEPERS OF OREGON Background © SK901 / 123RF.COM

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

Dan Thorp Graphic Artist

George Jeffries Advertising Executive

Sara Morgan Datebook Editor

DeeDe Williams Office Manager

Tavis Bettoli-Lotten

Designer & Copy Editor

The deadline for placing an ad in the Jan. 1 issue is Dec.18.

Calendar listings are free for community events. Submissions must include date, time, location and cost. Submissions for the Jan. 1 issue are due Dec. 18. Email calendar items to: datebook@mtangelpub.com Our Town is mailed free to residents and businesses in the 97383, 97385, 97358 and 97325 zip codes. Subscriptions outside the area are $40 annually

Contributing Writers & Photographers

Steve Beckner Custom Design

James Day

Sports Editor & Reporter

Stephen Floyd Digital Editor & Reporter

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

Jim Church

Delana Johnson Brian Heinrich





delana@powerautogroup.com brian@powerautogroup.com

Ryan Church 503-769-7100 ryan@powerautogroup.com


Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season! Have Whitney and Mike Ulven of Silverton Realty lead you on your journey home!

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December 2023 • 3


Something Fun

505 Collective Porter & Lau building to become ‘husband daycare’ By Stephen Floyd

Teri Mesa said this history with classic electronics will be seen in vintage speakers by Jim Evans, who takes old radio equipment and updates it with bluetooth capability. Teri Mesa said Evans even has some speakers originally purchased at Porter & Lau, drawing a unique connection to the former store.

An iconic storefront in downtown Stayton is being revitalized, with the new owners planning to put in a vendor market geared specifically for men and boys. The Porter & Lau building, at 505 N. Third Ave., is being transformed into The 505 Collective by entrepreneurial duo Teri and Jon Mesa, who own the similar retail space Marketplace at the Grove.

They also hope to honor the history of the property by having a cigar shop among the vendors, a throwback to the owner prior to the Porters. Joseph Lambrecht opened “First Pick,” Stayton’s first cigar shop, after the turn of the century and operated the business until his death in 1936, after which the Porters acquired the property.

Teri Mesa said The 505 Collective will be a “mancave”, or if you prefer the term a “husband daycare.” Local vendors will specialize in a variety of items including pocket knives, cowboy hats, sports-themed socks, camping gear and leather goods. She said they plan on an initial opening for retail vendors sometime in December and will then work during the coming months to bring in more complex services like a barber shop. “The project will be ongoing through the spring, but we’re opening the retail section right away to take advantage of the Christmas shopping,” she said. The Mesas also hope to honor the history of the building, which dates to 1947 and during its heyday was a pillar of the local business community.

Teri and Jon Mesa working on the shop space. STEPHEN FLOYD

The building was first owned by Wilbur and Gladys Porter, who partnered with Fank Lau to open appliance repair business Porter & Lau in 1947. They eventually branched into TVs, radios and records and for decades were the place to go in Stayton for the latest home media. Lau retired in 1983 and the Porters continued with the business. After Wilbur Porter died in 1988 Gladys Porter kept Porter & Lau going until her own retirement in 1995.

Lambrecht’s former building was later torn down and in 1947 the current building was constructed. Teri Mesa said the cigar shop is among vendors who may not be ready until the spring, but said it will be worth the wait if local enthusiasts no longer have to travel to Salem or Portland for good cigars. Jon Mesa said they will know The 505 Collective is a success if they not only keep shoppers in town but draw people to Stayton from out of the area. He said they found similar success with Marketplace at the Grove and want their new venture to be a place people are excited to come.

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Legal Matters

Ruffled feathers CAFO permit for chicken ranch headed to trial

By Stephen Floyd

pre-trial concerns.

A lawsuit challenging a state permit for a local industrial chicken farm is proceeding to trial after regulators attempted to have the case thrown out as meritless.

At issue is whether ODA and DEQ erred by approving a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) permit for J-S Ranch in Scio, in May of 2022. The facility would be able to produce up to 3.5 million broiler chickens annually for Foster Farms.

On Nov. 16, the court set Feb. 5, 2024, as the start of a five-day trial in Linn County Circuit Court for Eastman et al vs. Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. This followed a half-day hearing to argue whether or not defendants should receive summary judgment in their favor. ODA and DEQ had filed a motion Oct. 2 claiming petitioners had no legal grounds to request a reversal of the decision to issue the permit. At the close of the hearing it was determined a jury should decide the merits of petitioners’ claims and the trial was booked. A status check hearing was scheduled for Dec. 14 to follow up on any outstanding

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Community advocates including Sciobased Farmers Against Foster Farms (FAFF) have opposed the operation as an allegedly-harmful source of air and water pollution. FAFF President Christina Eastman is the lead petitioner in the suit, which was filed on Oct. 4, 2022. Fellow petitioners included FAFF and advocacy groups Friends of Family Farmers and Willamette Riverkeeper. Petitioners claim J-S Ranch does not have the capacity to handle 4,500 tons of solid chicken waste produced each year, potentially leading to surface water pollution through storm runoff. They also claimed the ranch would produce 178

tons of ammonia annually and airborne ammonia deposits may settle in the nearby North Santiam River. They claim, given the alleged potential for surface water pollution, ODA and DEQ issued the incorrect permit to J-S Ranch and its failure to mitigate pollution violates state and federal laws. Petitioners have asked the court to reverse the decision to issue the CAFO permit and for the reimbursement of attorney’s fees.

NCC said the outcome of the case could impact its goal as an organization to promote and improve poultry farming in the Pacific Northwest. The group also said J-S Ranch owner Eric Simon is among its members. NCC wanted to protect Simon’s ability to begin ranch operations.

Defendants said in their Oct. 2 motion that petitioners cited regulations that don’t apply to chicken ranches but rather to sewer plants and other facilities designed for surface water discharge. They also noted the North Santiam River is more than a quarter-mile away from J-S Ranch and no regulations exist for potential water pollution via air or ground over such a distance.

Petitioners opposed the motion claiming it would create unnecessary delays as most pre-trial proceedings were close to completion and adding a party could restart these processes. They also argued NCC is not directly impacted by the suit and that the petition impacts a single member and not all of NCC’s membership.

Also opposed to petitioners is the Northwest Chicken Council (NCC), which filed a motion to intervene Aug. 4

On Nov. 15 Judge Rachel KittsonMaQatish denied NCC’s motion to intervene.

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December 2023 • 5


Legal Matters

man arrested Wildfires Attorneys seek fees from opt-out cases Aumsville after Silverton standoff ensure that plaintiffs do not bear all the costs and that lead counsel are fairly compensated.”

By Stephen Floyd

Attorneys who achieved a $90 million verdict against PacifiCorp are seeking a cut of damages from wildfire survivors who opted out of the suit, arguing the lawsuit’s success benefits related claims. On Dec. 1 parties are set to argue in Multnomah County Circuit Court whether or not plaintiff attorneys in James et al vs. PacifiCorp are entitled to 20% of damages from similar cases.

On June 12 a Portland jury found PacifiCorp negligently liable for the fires and awarded $90 million to 17 plaintiffs. A second phase of trials is scheduled to begin in January for 22 claimants, and this crosssection of claims is meant to set standards for out-ofcourt resolutions. PacifiCorp strongly denies wrongdoing and has asked the court to throw out the verdict. Judge Steffan Alexander is expected to rule on this request and other pending motions by Dec. 1. Before the first trial began, hundreds of class members opted out to seek their own remedies, and these separate claims are at issue.

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The filing also said trial preparations for the 15 suits have been unique from James, as claims largely center on bodily injury and focus on the Echo Mountain Complex and Kimberling fires. Such preparations have included numerous site visits, depositions, and the acquisition of 500,000 documents from PacifiCorp. Parties to additional parallel suits against PacifiCorp have also filed objections to the fee request, as well as PacifiCorp itself. In an Aug. 21 court filing, the utility company called the proposed fee “the largest common benefit fee ever awarded” and said it could potentially stifle settlements for opt-out claimants. James attorneys acknowledged the fee they are seeking is “extraordinary” but said they also achieved an extraordinary result in an extraordinary case. In an Aug. 31 filing in response to the opposition, they said the suit was the first of its kind in Oregon and the first suit against a utility for a mass disaster to be brought to trial in the U.S. They also argued a normal fee in a class-action suit could be between 25% and 33%, and reiterated their view that the proposed 20% was fair and reasonable.

Davidson was not allowed to contact the victim but on Oct. 25 he was allegedly seen with her in his truck in Salem. When authorities attempted contact Davidson he allegedly drove off. After he ran a red light at Lancaster Drive and Market Stree NE deputies broke off the pursuit. Shortly afterward, Davidson’s truck was found abandoned in a residential area off Burton Place SE. His GPS monitor revealed he was traveling north on Cascade Highway toward Silverton. A Silverton police officer located a white Honda driven by Davidson and initiated a traffic stop. Davidson allegedly fled on foot into a residence on the 200 block of West Main Street. Law enforcement surrounded the residence and Davidson’s GPS tracking information showed he was in the house. A police K-9 unit indicated Davidson was in the basement and he was taken into custody without further incident. Davidson faces a new charge of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. As of press time was held in the Marion County Jail in lieu of $580,000 bail.

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He is charged with second-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary for allegedly holding the victim against her will March 10 at her home in Jefferson. He is scheduled for trial in Marion County Circuit Court Feb. 26, 2024, and if convicted faces at least 70 months in prison.



They said fire survivors who opted out of the James class have no professional relationship with the James attorneys, and therefore no obligation to pay the requested fee. They said claimants who opted out exercised their right to seek their own remedies and demanding a portion of their damages infringes on that right.


“Plaintiffs and lead counsel have invested substantial time and money in the years since filing this case,” said the motion. “...An order assessing a common benefit fee upon all who meet the class definition will

Steele James Davidson, 30, was pursued by police after allegedly contacting the victim of a domestic violence incident for which Davidson was arrested in March.

This plan did not sit well with those representing opt-out plaintiffs. On Aug. 30 attorneys representing around 430 fire survivors from 15 different cases filed their opposition.

James attorneys include the firms of Stoll Berne, Keller Rohrback, and Edelson PC. They represent a class of roughly 5,000 survivors of the Santiam, South Obenchain, Echo Mountain Complex and 242 fires, which sparked Sept. 8, 2020.

In a motion filed Aug. 4, James attorneys said the June verdict set a new standard for holding utilities accountable, and subsequent claims benefit from this precedent. They also argued they uncovered key information about PacifiCorp’s negligence, including the company’s efforts to destroy evidence, thereby strengthening other cases.

An Aumsville man with a pending kidnapping case was arrested in Silverton Oct. 25 after a high-speed chase that ended with the suspect allegedly hiding in a resident’s basement.

They have requested a 20% fee from all judgments and settlements involving plaintiffs who fit the definition of the class.


– Stephen Floyd


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School Spotlight

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Mixed report NSSD grad rates improve


By Stephen Floyd

average of 62%.

The North Santiam School District (NSSD) saw improvement in graduation rates during the last school year, while also seeing opportunities to improve performance in English and math.

Pelletier said this decrease was “a continued illustration of the ongoing impact of the pandemic on education.” She said the district sees regular attendance as “critical” to student success adding they will identify solutions to bring this number up.

According to the state’s recent At-A-Glance reports, published in October, 93% of 12th graders at Stayton high School graduated on time during the ’22-’23 school year. This was above the statewide average of 81%, and up from 88% the year before.

There was also a decrease in English scores, with 31% of third graders meeting grade level expectations. This was down from 40% the previous year and below the state average of 40%.

There was also a significant improvement in on-time graduations at North Santiam Options Academy with 48% of 12th graders graduating, compared to 36% the prior year. “These achievements collectively reflect the district’s dedication to the success of all students,” said NSSD spokesperson Emily Pelletier. “We’re proud of all the individual success stories captured in these metrics.”

Pelletier said they plan to close learning gaps by using targeted strategies that focus on support for students and families, with an emphasis on the traditionally marginalized.

In other graduation metrics the district saw a decline, with 78% of ninth graders district-wide on track to graduate. This was down four percentage points from the year before and below the state average of 84%. There was also a decline in regular attendance, with 55% of students attending at least 90% of their school days. This was down five points from the previous year and below the state

Enrollment was holding steady at 2,099 students for ’22-’23, up from 2,068 students in ’21-’22 and below pre-pandemic enrollment of 2,226.

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Meanwhile math scores improved with 22% of eighth graders meeting grade level expectations, up from to 18% the previous year, though below the state average of 26%.

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School Spotlight

Ups and downs

Cascade’s math scores improve, English dips By Stephen Floyd The Cascade School District (CSD) is celebrating an increase in math scores after deliberate efforts to help students and teachers bring up state test scores. According to the state’s recent At-AGlance reports, CSD saw 23% of 8th graders meeting grade level expectations for math in the ’22-’23 school year, compared to 16% the year before. While this number was below the state average of 26%, district spokesperson Gregg Koskela said a gain of seven percentage points in one school year is still something to be proud of. “We have taken strategic actions to improve previous gaps in mathematics, and we see that work paying off in these reports,” said Koskela. He said those efforts included the recent hiring of math instructional coaches at the elementary schools, and the implementation last year of a new math curriculum. The most significant growth was seen at Turner Elementary School where 35% of students met expectations, one point shy of the state average and up 11-points over the last school year. Aumsville Elementary School was at 34%, one point over the last year, and

Cloverdale Elementary School was at 51%, three points over the last year. Koskela said the district hopes to take a similar approach to improve English test scores, with the district at 47% of third graders at grade level expectations. While this was above the state average of 40%, it was a decline from the previous year’s 50%. Koskela said a new English curriculum this year should help improve scores. Koskela said the district was also pleased with the graduation-related statistics for Cascade High School, which were all above state averages. Among ninth graders, 92% were on track to graduate (84% statewide), 94% of 12th graders graduated on time (81% statewide) and 96% of students earned their diploma within five years (87% statewide). Regular attendance was also above the state average, with 66% of students attending at least 90% of their enrolled school days, compared to 62% statewide. Koskela said this was a drop of 5% from the previous year and the district wants to make improvements to attendance. Enrollment was at 2,648 students for ’22-’23, up from 2,537 the year before and up from pre-COVID enrollment of 2,371 students in the ’18-’19 school year. Koskela said this is a sign families want to live within the district and reaffirms their commitment to “personal relationships to deliver academic excellence.”

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December 2023 • 9

Helping Hands

Grants Shellburg trails, Stayton Community Center benefit By James Day Reopening the trails in the Shellburg Falls area of the Santiam State Forest has received a boost from a new grant. The Pacific Power Foundation has awarded a $3,500 grant to Trailkeepers of Oregon for upcoming work on footbridges in the Shellburg Falls Recreation Area. One of the 30-foot bridges, said Steve Kruger, executive director of Trailkeepers, is located just above Shellburg Falls and the other on the nearby August Mountain Trail. The grant was part of $112,000 in new funding that the Pacific Power Foundation is providing to community enhancement and environmental groups in Oregon, Washington and California. The City of Stayton received a $1,000 grant, which it will use toward an upgrade of the kitchen in the Stayton Community Center. A total of $13,000 in grant funding went to Willamette Valley groups, with the Luckiamute Watershed Council, the Sweet Home Library and Young Roots Oregon of Albany, also receiving funding.

The foundation grants underwrite diverse programs and projects, from affordable housing access, job training and rural economic development to ecosystem preservation, trail restoration and naturebased education, according to Pacific Power. “These organizations lift up our communities and protect our natural surroundings for future generations,” said Adam Kohler, Pacific Power regional business manager in a press release. “It is an honor to support their inspiring work and help build communities where everyone can flourish.” The Trailkeepers of Oregon project will continue the work the Oregon Department of Forestry is doing in the Santiam State Forest to restore recreation areas that were damaged by the 2020 Labor Day fires. Overall, about 16,000 of the forest’s nearly 48,000 acres were affected by the wildfires. Some areas have reopened, but the Shellburg Falls area, easily the most popular spot in the Santiam State Forest for outdoor enthusiasts, remains closed.

“It’s a special place and it was toasted,” Kruger told Our Town. “A lot of Shellburg was really burnt, but the new beauty revealed after the wildfire is worth the wait.” The Pacific Power grant will help Trailkeepers and its cadre of volunteers get started on the bridge project, but more funding, either from grants or from donors, will be required to complete the task. Trailkeepers has been involved in post-fire recovery work in the Shellburg Falls area since the spring of 2021, Kruger said. “These are pretty exciting, big projects to be a part of,” Kruger said. “We’re actively pursuing other resources to support the work, but this is a great kick-start.” No date was available for completion of the bridge projects. Kruger emphasized that the ODF will make the final call on when the region will reopen to the public. The grant will pay for approximately 10 days of trail work. Since the fires, the ODF has been planning and budgeting for reconstruction and improvements to the Shellburg Falls area.

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The ODF has been successful in reopening other Santiam State Forest sites, including the Monument Peak Trail system, Santiam Horse Camp, Rock Creek Campground, and the Natural Arch and Rocky Top trails. The ODF depends almost exclusively on group volunteer assistance for post-fire recovery of recreation areas such as Shellburg Falls. Those who want to assist in the Shellburg Falls project should contact the prganizations involved: Trailkeepers of Oregon, Salem Area Trail Alliance, and the Cascadia Trail Crew. The City of Stayton, meanwhile, will use its Pacific Power grant for work on the existing 1979-era kitchen at the Community Center, said City Manager Julia Hajduk. The key kitchen use, Hajduk said, is for the Northwest Senior Disabilities Services

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10 • December 2023




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tHANk you to All of our CuStomerS for CHooSiNg to Do buSiNeSS WitH uS! We WiSH you Peace tHiS HoliDAy SeASoN AND AlWAyS. merry CHriStmAS!

D & W Automotive

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JefferSoN truCk & Auto

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December 2023 • 11

Arts & Entertainment

Blondie set for Christmas radio show Spotlight Community Theatre is putting on a live radio-style performance of A Blondie Christmas the first weekend in December. Showings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3., at 383 N. Third Ave., in Stayton. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased on the website at spotlightct.com or at the door. The play features the misadventures of Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead of the classic “Blondie” comic strips. It has been adapted for the theater’s ACT on Radio program, which performs old-time radio dramas for a live audience and often broadcast on KMUZ and KYAC. The show is directed by Colleen Rogers and features eight voice actors including Gayle Rasorfer as Blondie and Wade Moran as Dagwood. The runtime is 70 minutes, with a 10-minute intermission. The show “will be sure to entertain and get you in the Christmas spirit!” a Spotlight spokesperson told Our Town. For additional information, visit their website or reach out to either 503-302-0936 or info@ spotlightcommunitytheatre.com. – Stephen Floyd

Helping Hands

Support role New center director ready to serve By Stephen Floyd The new executive director of the Santiam Teen Center is no stranger to ministry and youth services. Before Steven Reed started Nov. 6, he held various positions in the Salem area from pastor to athletic director to middle school principal to university professor to baseball coach. Throughout these diverse roles, Reed said his goal was to be a source of support for young people, and he sees his new position as the culmination of these experiences.

from a supportive role, because they are the ones really, truly investing in the lives of the kids,” he said. He said the community also plays an important role. One of his goals is to clearly communicate the needs of the program to local individuals, businesses and fellow nonprofits. He said, even if someone does not end up directly supporting the Teen Center, at least they are aware of opportunities to be involved. If the program and the volunteers have the support they need, Reed said they will be able to see it in the kids at the Teen Center. The program is open to students in 7th to 12th grades and regularly serves up to 15 or 20 students each day, around 90 individual students over the course

“That’s what really drew me here, was an Steven Reed opportunity to kind of put all of the skills that I’ve STEPHEN FLOYD been building over the years into practice and begin to lead of a year. an organization that has a very similar direction that I felt like my life has always had,” said Reed. Reed said the needs of these teens can vary broadly from physical things like food and clothing to more personal needs As executive director, Reed provides leadership and oversees like a safe, quiet space or words of encouragement. Reed day-to-day operations at the Teen Center, which opened in said he will know he has done his job if a student leaves the 2019 under New Growth Ministries. He will also report to Teen Center feeling better than when they walked in, and the group’s board of directors and coordinate volunteers. especially if they encourage their friends to come as well. Reed said support for volunteers is vital and he is committed In the bigger picture, Reed said the program will be a success to the training and resources they need to be successful. if the teens they help today come back later as adults to “[Volunteers] need someone that has their back that leads volunteer and pass on their experiences.

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Dogs aren’t just guests – they are family, and we do everything we can to provide a warm and stimulating environment. 12 • December 2023


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Merry Christmas! From our family to yours, we wish you the very best this holiday season. From familytotoyou, yours, wish you the best this holidayweseason. We areour grateful ourwe community, forvery the many blessings have We are grateful you,four ourdecades. community, for the many our blessings we have received over thetopast We will continue commitment received oversupport the pastyou fourthroughout decades. We willand continue our commitment to serve and 2024, for many years to come to serve and support you throughout 2024, and for many years to come

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Serving the Santiam Canyon for over 45 years. Serving the Santiam Canyon for over 45 years. (503) 769-6280

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December 2023 • 13


Make It Merry!



The spirit is building and we want to say, Have a happy holiday! One thing that we know is true, Is we couldn’t have made it without all of you!

By Melissa Wagoner The first time Robyn Moore learned about the practice of making jewelry with stones created from breastmilk she was skeptical. Then, after experiencing difficulties breastfeeding her third child, she finally understood the appeal. “With my third I struggled the most,” Moore recalled. “She was the smallest, so it was much more crucial to me. There was just a whole journey with her. She was a surprise and I got COVID… and things just hit differently with her. I was like, now I get this! What an achievement.”


503-769-2879 101 N. First Ave. Stayton

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Six months later, Moore had her first ring – and a business she coined, Once Upon a Memory Jewelry. “I do rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings,” Moore said. Each has a custom resin stone created from either breastmilk or cremation ashes. “I’ve had multiple people who have used children’s ashes,” Moore said. “And that’s always kind of hard. But it’s also really special.”

To commemorate her experience, Moore began searching for a jeweler who could make her a ring but was unable to find exactly what she was looking for. “But I’ve always been crafty,” Moore said. “So, I started researching and experimenting.”

Utilizing only an eighth of a teaspoon of ash – which she retrieves herself from the urn – Moore then customizes each stone with the specific colors and shapes of the customer’s choosing. “I recently did a ring for a daughter that didn’t make it to two years,” Moore said, describing the diamond stone she set into a halo band that, “when it reflects in the sunlight, reflects a rainbow,” especially appropriate now that the mother is

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Memories made into jewelry expecting a “rainbow baby”.

discarding it,” Moore said.

“With the cremation jewelry it’s a unique way to keep them with you that’s not obvious,” Moore said. She often wears a necklace commemorating her father. “It’s something that bonds you.”

The protocol is different for cremation ashes.

In business for just under a year, Moore is continually looking for ways to grow her clientele including “half now, half later” payment options and special goodie bags for breastfeeding moms. “With the breastmilk I have a process where I convert it to a paste, dry it and then grind it by hand into a powder,” Moore said, describing the unique process. “Then I mix it into a UV resin and make it into a stone. I also have a three-year protection plan so if there’s leftover powder, I attach it to the order form.”

“What I don’t use I send back,” Moore explained. “I have a heart mold and I send that back to them. I will not discard anything; it seems disrespectful to me.” Moore also tries to meet her clients in person – both before and after the jewelry is finished – to diminish the chance of items getting lost in the mail. “I’m pretty particular about meeting face to face,” Moore said. Whether it’s breastmilk jewelry, cremation jewelry, or simply something custom made, she is focused on meeting her customers’ needs.

That powder gives moms the chance to order more jewelry or replace lost or damaged items.

“I absolutely love it,” Moore confirmed. “I love the whole aspect of it – the sense of pride when I see a ring turn out really pretty. I always thank people for trusting their loved one with me.”

“I have it for three years, then I give them the option of giving it back to them or

For information visit www.ouamjewelry.com.

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December 2023 • 15


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The Story Behind the Christmas Holiday By Gregg Harris


were all supposed to live, but haven’t. Then, because He had no moral guilt of His own to pay for, He would be able to die in our place the horrible death that we all deserve. (Yes, we all deserve to die for our rebellion against our Creator.) The plan was for God’s own Son to pay the debts of all those who repent and trust in Him. (See the 3rd chapter of John in the Bible for the full explanation of all this.). That Savior, who was promised by God on the same day that Adam and Eve rebelled against God, is Jesus. (See the 3rd chapter of Genesis for that moment in history.) So, the Story of Christmas began even before the world was made.

hristmas is a wonderful time of year, especially for those of us who believe the Christmas Story. We sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” But if we don’t really believe the Lord has come, and don’t appreciate what His birth means to the world, its pretty hard to rejoice. It pulls the rug out from under the whole idea. That’s because this holiday, like every holiday, is intended to be a “holy day” — a day set apart for a very special purpose. All holidays, whether they be family holidays like wedding anniversaries and birthdays, or religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, or national holidays like Thanksgiving and the 4th of July, share the same purpose. Each is to be a day to remember the story at the heart of the holiday. Christmas is set aside to remember the story of Christ’s birth. But this assumes that we believe the story. As more people today reject the biblical family model, (i.e. with it’s dad, mom, a bunch of kids, and maybe even a few grandparents nearby), it becomes less likely that we will celebrate our family’s holidays. As we move away from the Christian worldview that made Christmas a holiday, it becomes less likely that we will celebrate Christmas as the actual birth of Christ. And as we drift away from the legitimate patriotism that once inspired us to honor our nation’s founding, little is left for us besides turkey and fireworks. Our holidays become void of both content and power when we don’t actually believe in them. Is it any wonder that our holidays have become little more than occasions to buy more stuff, to watch “holiday specials” or televised sports? We have lost our faith in the stories. Holidays for many have become emotional minefields where the more conservative members of the family try in vain to avoid offending the sensitivities of the more liberal members of the family, and vise versa. But that is a great loss. If we can no longer talk about politics or religion—the two most important topics in our lives!— it shows that we no longer share a common worldview. Christmas becomes a painful reminder of all that we have lost.

What Does It Mean When We Sing “The Lord Has Come?” The real problem is, too many of us sing “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” without ever bowing our knee to “the Lord.” Like Will Ferrel’s hilarious character in Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby, we want a “Sweet Baby Jesus” version of God who has no practical influence in our lives. We don’t want the grown up version of Jesus as the Lord that we meet in the Bible. Talladega Nights pokes fun, not so much at Jesus Himself, but at the idiocy of “cultural

16 • December 2023

Gregg Harris, “C hri

stmas Caroler”

How Is This Going to Work?

Christians” who, like Ricky Bobby’s family, “like to think of Jesus” as whatever silly character they can imagine. Though the movie itself is blasphemous, and the language is foul, it makes clear that “Sweet Baby Jesus” can never save us, or empower us to live our lives for God’s glory.

It’s About The Birth of A King

The question was, how, when and where would this Savior be born? The entire Bible tells the story. First God chose a man named Abraham to be the Father of a Nation that would be called Israel (Yes, that Israel, the forebears of the modern Jewish nation.) It was through Israel that the promised Savior would be born. God promised Abraham that

“If we miss the connection between Christmas and Resurrection Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, we miss the point entirely. If all we know is Christmas, we end up like poor Ricky Bobby with his “Sweet Baby Jesus” version of God, the version that cannot save anyone.”

The Christmas Story is about a longawaited King who is born into the humble circumstances of a stable. But this King is not just any king. This royal child is the Christ, the Son of God. He is Emanuel (i.e. God with us). He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who will one day judge this world in righteousness. All of these titles point to His authority to rule. That is who this baby is. So, let’s take a closer look at the story of His birth as we find it in the Bible.

The Christmas Story Begins Before the World Was Made God knows everything. He is omniscient. If this world was a Computer Simulation, then God would be its Programmer. That means He already had to know that Adam and Eve, our first parents, would rebel against Him when Satan tempted them in the Garden of Eden. (Yes, this event really did happen in history and it explains a lot about why we are the way we are.) Before the world began, God had already put into place a way that He could forgive and save those who repent and turn back to Him without Himself being unjust. His plan involved having His own Son be born into the world to be the Savior who would live the morally perfect life that we

through his family all the earth would be blessed (Gen. 22:18). Later God promised a Jewish king named David that the Savior would descend from his royal bloodline (Is. 9:7). Various prophets added predictions. The Savior would be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14). The Savior would be born in a little town called Bethlehem just south of Jerusalem (Mic. 5:2). A star would appear in the sky to mark the time of the Savior’s birth (Num. 24:17). Enough was foretold that a few wise men from Persia would be able to figure it all out and show up right on time to honor the newborn King with gifts fit for a king. And so it all came to pass. Jesus, the Christ, born in King David’s royal bloodline, the very Son of God Himself, was born to a Virgin named Mary in a stable in Bethlehem. “Joy to the world! The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King.” But being born was just His first step toward the cross on which He would eventually die for the sins of the whole world (See 1John 2:2). Many do not realize that Christmas sets the stage for Good Friday when Jesus would die, and then for Easter


morning when His Heavenly Father would raise Him from the dead. This is important! If we miss the connection between Christmas and Resurrection Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, we miss the point entirely. If all we know is Christmas, we end up like poor Ricky Bobby with his “Sweet Baby Jesus” version of God, the version that cannot save anyone. And even if we make the connection between Jesus’ birth and His death hanging on the cross as a crucifix, we still miss the point. In order get what God intends for us to get — to be saved, to be born again—we must make the connection between Jesus dying on the cross and God raising Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9). And we must believe in our hearts that this really happened, because the resurrection is the proof we need in order to know that Jesus’ payment was accepted by God the Father. It is believing in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection that changes everything. It proves that Jesus is who he said He was, and that He accomplished everything He said He would. He defeated death by rising from the dead. That is why we celebrate Christmas. That is the true story.

“Jesus Is Lord!” This Savior is the One we are talking about when we say that “Jesus is Lord.” When we can say this by faith, believing in our hearts that He died for our sins and rose from the dead, we are born again. Jesus Himself takes charge of our lives as our Lord. His Heavenly Father adopts us into His eternal family. He gives to us the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to obey Jesus as our Lord. And when we trust in Jesus enough to actually obey Him, we get to enjoy a life of showing our love for God by the way we love and care for one another. That is the true Christian life. So, as you celebrate this year, why not put Christ back into your Christmas? Tell His story. Give your gifts in honor One who gave to you the greatest gift ever; the gift of His own Son, Jesus, to be your Savior and Lord. Rejoice! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you have questions about this, please call or text me at 503-926-1388.

Men’s Prayer Breakfast!

Every Thurs. morning 5:30-7:00 AM at 409 South Water Street, Silverton Join us as we briefly study the Bible, pray for our city, challenge one another to grow in our faith & enjoy a free breakfast. Please RSVP by text to 503-926-1388.

To help us pay for publishing these articles please go to NobleInn.org/ articles. There you can also read all 11 of the articles published thus far.

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Farmer’s Notebook

Family farm The kiddos help with the kids By Mary Owen

our herd and switch over to raising American Dairy Goat Association registered Nigerian Dwarf Goats.”

Courtney Kaeb loves to “talk goats.” Kaeb, her husband Ethan and their four offspring have 26 of them on their Aumsville farm and are expecting a new crop of kids to add to the herd. “Our first estimated due date for our goats is Christmas Eve!” Kaeb said. “So, we could be getting some baby goats for Christmas!” The Kaebs grew up with animals – Ethan with Boer goats and a couple cows, and Courtney with horses, pigs, and a variety of other farm animals. They married in 2016, and started their menagerie with a pair of dogs, horses, potbelly pigs and of course, goats. “We now have three dogs, two horses, and handful of barn cats, two potbelly pigs, three turkeys, ten ducks and 26 dairy goats,” Courtney Kaeb said. “We’ve always had a passion for animals and being outside.” Courtney Kaeb traded being a Certified Nurse Assistant for becoming a stay-at-home mom after their first baby arrived. Her hubby worked for a farmer in Harrisburg before working for his father who owns Kaeb Custom Builders. The couple also loves being able to produce their own food. “We have a massive garden every summer, and I spend most summer days canning and freezing produce from our garden,” Kaeb said. “We have raised and butchered chickens and turkeys, and, of course, utilize our goats milk for drinking, soap making and making cheese. “It started as wanting to have some farm animals to raise and has turned into wanting to be a little more self sufficient and give our family as much homegrown food as possible,” she added. “It would be a dream to be able to make a living from all of this so my husband could stay home with us, and we could farm and raise our babies together full time.” About a year after their marriage, they started breeding goats with two unregistered Nigerian Dwarf goats. “One wether [castrated male] and one doe,” Kaeb said. “We then added a buck to breed our doe. We enjoyed that and so did our children. We loved having something to do together as a family. After doing some research, we decided to grow

The whole family is involved in the running of the farm. “Last kidding season, it was me and all the kiddos in the barn watching/assisting goats in labor while my husband was at work,” Kaeb said. “I had my three daughters – Addielynn, 6, Caroline, 5, and Ella, 3 – running around the barn and my son, Bowie, 1, in a backpack carrier on my back. The kids are down in the barn every single day with my husband and me. They’re helping to gather eggs, feed the dogs, feed the ducks, catch goats, hold goats, locking goats onto the milk stand for milking, feeding the goats on the milk stand their grain, feeding the barn cats, you name it!” Kaeb added her husband plays “a huge role in making all of this craziness happen! He is the fixer, builder, and heavy lifter! He builds all of our hay feeders making them as waste free as possible. He is down there bright and early with me bottle feeding baby goats, helping me milk, cutting my soap bars for me – just being the absolute best partner in all of this!” Products for sale at the farm include farm-fresh eggs and baby chicks as well as registered Nigerian Dwarf goats to people “looking to add great quality to their own goat herd,” Kaeb said. “I also make handcrafted goat milk soap with our goats milk,” Kaeb said. “I also freeze dry the goats milk and make and sell a “Fizzy Goat Milk Bath.” It is fizzy like a bath bomb and makes your skin feel amazingly soft! “I also freeze dry candy!” she added. “I love taking custom orders for people. I have a list of items I have done, and people can choose from the list. I can usually have orders done in just a couple days. I am always open to suggestions, too, with my soap and my candy.” Kaeb also makes a fragrance-free, colorant-free, all-natural

Ethan and Courtney Kaeb with their kiddos, above, and a couple of (goat) kids, left.


soap, a popular choice for many of her customers. Currently, she is making handmade soaps using holiday scents, including Gingerbread, Christmas Candy Apple, Balsam Fir and Peppermint. “I infused the olive oil with lemon balm and rosemary,” she said. “Then topped with chamomile flowers. All herbs and flowers are grown in my garden. I’m really excited about this bar!” Future plans include getting honeybees and breeding her Nubian goat, she said. The Kaebs enjoy living a slow lifestyle together as a family, homeschooling the kids, and tending to the farm. A website is in the works, but their Facebook page tells what’s going on and how to buy products. “So far, I have been completely overjoyed by the feedback we have received,” said Kaeb, who can be reached by email at kaebfamilyfarm@gmail.com.



Monday – Friday 8am-5pm

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December 2023 • 17

datebook Frequent Address

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

Weekly Events Monday

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



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

Friday, Dec. 1

Camp Taloali Holiday Bazaar 1 - 7 p.m., Camp Taloali, 15934 SE North Santiam Hwy., Stayton. Homemade gifts, bake sale, local vendors and Santa. Free admission. Repeats 10 a.m. 7 p.m. Dec. 2. taloali.org

Silverton Christmas Market 5 - 9 p.m., Oregon Garden Resort, 895 W Main St., Silverton. Explore the authentic German Christmas Market for gifts. All admission and snowless tubing tickets must be purchased online in advance. Ticket sales end at 3 p.m. daily. Tickets available at silvertonchristmasmarket.com. Runs through Dec. 31. Closed Dec. 24-25.

GriefShare, 6 - 8 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Find hope and healing after the death of a loved one. Register: griefshare.org/ findagroup. Runs through Dec. 12. 406-431-8256 English/GED/Citizenship Classes, 6:30 - 8 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 Fern Ridge Road. Class is free; workbook is $20. Runs through June. Repeats Thursdays. 503-779-7029

Saturday, Dec. 2


Children’s Christmas Shop

Stayton/Sublimity Chamber Business Network, 8:15 a.m. Network building event for local business, non-profit professionals. Location varies each week. For location, call 503-769-3464. St. Boniface Archives and Museum, 9 a.m. - noon, 370 Main St., Sublimity. Learn about Sublimity and possibly your family history. Free. 503-508-0312 Stayton Area Rotary, noon, Santiam Golf Club, 8724 Golf Club Road, Aumsville. Guests welcome. 503-508-9431, staytonarearotary.org Cascade Country Quilters, 12:30 p.m., Santiam Senior Center, 41818 KingstonJordan Road, Stayton. 50 and older. 503-767-2009


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

18 • December 2023

Santa Cruise and Christmas Breakfast 8 - 11 a.m., Stayton Fire Station, 1988 W Ida St. Enjoy breakfast, make a Toys for Joys donation and view vehicles. Cruise-in registration is at 8 a.m. Entry fee is a new, unwrapped toy. Breakfast is $10/adults, $8/children 6-13 and seniors. Kids 5 and under eat free. For cruise-in information, contact Russ Strohmeyer, 503-930-8976. 9 a.m. - noon, Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Aumsville children ages 3 - 9 are invited to come to the Aumsville Exchange Club’s Christmas Store to pick out free gifts for their parents. Children must be accompanied by an adult, who will enjoy a free pancake breakfast and hot cocoa while the children shop with Santa’s helpers. Children can also attend the free breakfast after shopping. 503-749-2030

Stayton Holiday Craft Bazaar 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Stayton Middle School, 1021 Shaff Road. Handmade and direct marketing gifts. Suzy’s Taqueria and Baked and Loaded Potatoes food trucks. Fundraiser for youth groups in the Stayton/Sublimity communities. Information on Facebook at Stayton Holiday Craft Bazaar.

‘Almost Free’ Movie Showing Noon, Star Cinema, 350 N Third Ave., Stayton. Tickets available at starcinema. net for the $1 showing of Elf. Or bring canned food donations to the door.

Snow Peak Beard Competition

Santiam Artists Connection

5 p.m., Snow Peak Brewing, 280 E Water St., Stayton. Categories include best under 4 inches, best over 4 inches, best mustache and best holiday decorated. Free admission. Audience votes throughout the evening. Ballots close at 7 p.m. Awards at 8 p.m. 503-767-2337

10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Old School Community Center, 22057 Emma St., Lyons. Artists gather to paint and draw. Bring own supplies and projects.All levels welcome. Free; donations to Community Art Center accepted. santiamh2a.org

Lyons Christmas Tree Lighting 6 - 8 p.m., Lyons Fire Station, 1114 Main St. Join for a night filled with lights, hot cocoa, holiday treats, Santa Claus and the Grinch. Tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. 503859-2410, lyonsrfd.org

A Vintage Christmas 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 after the parade. Cookies and crafts at Sublimity Fire Station following the tree lighting. Parade entries $5. Entry forms available at cityofsublimity.org. 503-769-5475

Sunday, Dec. 3 KofC Breakfast

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

Candy Cane Breakfast 8 a.m. - noon, Sublimity Fire Station, 115 NW Parker St. All-you-can-eat biscuits & gravy. Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring three nonperishable items to make a monetary donation towards holiday food baskets. 503-769-3282, sublimityfire.org

Jingle Jam 4 - 5:30 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Hear the Christmas story. Sing and dance along with fun music. Play games, win prizes. All ages. Free. 503-769-2731, foothillsstayton.org

Monday, Dec. 4

Daughter of American Revolution 10 a.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Guest speaker Diana Maul presents “250th Anniversary: Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773.” Tea tasting included. All are welcome. Holiday refreshments. 503-689-6991


Stayton City Council 7 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Open to public. staytonoregon.gov

Tuesday, Dec. 5 Family Storytime

10:30 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Explore the world of early literacy through songs, rhythms, stories, rhymes. All ages welcome. 503-769-3313

Stayton Lions Club Noon, Covered Bridge Cafe, 510 N Third Ave., Stayton. Club and new members are welcome. Repeats Dec. 19. staytonlionsclub.org

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

Wednesday, Dec. 6 Poinsettia Sale

9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Santiam Hospital, 1401 N 10th Ave., Stayton. 6.5-inch poinsettias $18. 4-inch Christmas Cactus, $7. Proceeds benefit scholarships, hospital needs. Repeats Dec. 7-8. 503-507-9450

Toddler Stay & Play 10:30 a.m., Stayton Public Library. Explore early literacy with infants and toddlers through different activities. Older siblings welcome. Free. 503-769-3313

Caregiver Connection 1 - 2 p.m., Zoom. Free educational support group for unpaid family caregivers caring for a loved one 60 years of age or older, or caring for a person living with dementia. For Zoom invite and register, call 503-304-3432.

Thursday, Dec. 7 Dungeons & Dragons

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

Friday, Dec. 8 Chanukah/Hanukkah Starts

Community Play Group 10 - 11:30 a.m., Doris’s Place, 574 N 11th St., Aumsville. Free Community Play Group sponsored by Family Building Blocks. Includes y snacks. RSVP: 503-566-2132, familybuildingblocks.org.

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Red Cross Blood Drive Noon - 5 p.m., Sublimity Fire Station, 115 NW Parker St. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

Saturday, Dec. 9 Christmas Craft Bazaar

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

Holiday Festival at Silver Falls 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., South Falls Lodge, Silver Falls State Park, 2004 Silver Falls Hwy., Sublimity. Make a wreath, gingerbread house, cards and ornaments. $5 per vehicle day use fee. Repeats Dec. 10. friendsofsilverfalls.net

Spotlight’s Christmas Bazaar 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Spotlight Community Theater, 383 N Third Ave., Stayton. Shop holiday treasures. Pictures with Santa $10. 503-302-0936, spotlightcommunitytheatre.org

Christmas on the Farm 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Parnel Family Farm, 8561 SE Little Road, Aumsville. Enjoy free hot chocolate or apple cider and a Christmas cookie. Visit with alpacas and Santa.

Aumsville Christmas in the Park 5 - 7 p.m., Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St. Free soup and hot dogs, holiday music, town tree lighting. Mill Creek Carriage rides. Pictures with Santa and the Grinch. Free. 503-749-2030

Sunday, Dec. 10 Brown House Tour

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

Monday, Dec. 11 Sublimity City Council

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, Dec. 12

Lyons Library Board

Business Plan Walkthrough

2:30 - 4 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Do you need a quick but thorough orientation into the key elements of a business plan? This class will help you understand those elements and ensure that you’ve thought through the most crucial questions before you decide to go forward with your business. Free. Register at go.chemeketa.edu/SBDCevents. Questions? Email sbdc@chemeketa.edu or call 503-399-5088.

Dementia Care Conversations 3 - 4 p.m. Zoom. Free group for unpaid caregivers providing support to a loved one living with dementia. The focus is to provide dementia care information, training and resources to family caregivers. Offered by Family Caregiver Support Program at NorthWest Senior and Disability Services. To request a referral to the group, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connection at 503-304-3420. Repeats Dec. 26.

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

Wednesday, Dec. 13

Preparing a Business Loan Application 2:30 - 5:30 p.m., Stayton Community Center. Designed to help business owners prepare and apply for a business loan. Free. Register at go.chemeketa.edu/SBDCevents. Questions? Email sbdc@chemeketa.edu or call 503-399-5088.

RDS Board Meeting 5 p.m., Beauchamp Building, 278 E High St., Stayton. Revitalize Downtown Stayton monthly meeting. Open to public. 503-7672317, downtownstayton.org

Santiam Heritage Foundation Board 6 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Open to public. 503-7688860

Thursday, Dec. 14 Red Cross Blood Drive

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

NSSD Board 6 p.m., 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

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

Friday, Dec. 15 Community Play Group

10 - 11:30 a.m., Santiam Chapel Assembly of God, 440 Fifth St., Lyons. Free Community Play Group sponsored by Family Building Blocks. Includes complimentary snacks. RSVP: 503-566-2132, familybuildingblocks.org.

Saturday, Dec. 16 Stayton Fall Leaf Clean-up

9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Stayton Public Works, 1820 N First Ave. Yard debris disposal, including leaves and brush. Fo addresses in the city limits, bring canned food donations for the Stayton Community Food Bank. Outside city limits is $1/bag. Need assistance raking, bagging, having debris picked up? Call 503-769-2919.

Gingerbread House Build 10 a.m. - noon, Foothills Church, 975 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Bring a box of graham crackers and some decorating candy to share. Rest of supplies provided. All ages. Free. 503-769-2731, foothillsstayton.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

Living Nativity 5 - 7 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Drive by the Live Nativity or stop for a closer experience and enjoy cocoa and cookies. Canned food gratefully accepted for the Stayton Community Food Bank. Repeats 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Dec.17 and Dec 24. staytonumc.org

Sunday, Dec. 17 Christmas Carol Sing

4 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Come to a sing-along of Christmas carols. Everyone is welcome. Admission free. Afterwards stay for cookies and cocoa. staytonumc.org

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


Monday, Dec. 18 Stayton City Council

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

Wednesday, Dec. 20 Jingle & Mingle

6 - 8 p.m., Mehama Community Center, 22057 SE Emma St., Lyons. Make & take two free ornaments (additional cost $2-5). Photo opportunity for children with complimentary keychain/ornament. Write a letter to Santa. Free candy canes, hot cocoa. Bake sale table. Sponsored by How I Met Your Neighbor. Visit How I Met Your Neighbor on Facebook for more information.

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

Thursday, Dec. 21 Winter Solstice Friday, Dec. 22 Red Cross Blood Drive

Noon - 5 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1077 N Sixth Ave., Stayton. Appointments at redcrossblood.org.

Sunday, Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service

7 p.m., Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450 SE Fern Ridge Road. Sing carols, hear the story of Jesus’ birth and listen to an uplifting Christmas message. All are welcome. staytonumc.org

Monday, Dec. 25 Christmas Day Tuesday, Dec. 26 Kwanzaa Starts Lyons City Council

6:30 p.m., Lyons City Hall, 449 Fifth St. Open to public. Agenda available. 503859-2167, cityoflyons.org

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

Sunday, Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve ••••••••••••••••

Datebook Submission Information

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

December 2023 • 19

Sports & Recreation

A crowd of students, faculty, administrators, donors, alums and cheerleaders who were on hand Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the groundbreaking for the Ty Hart Memorial Fitness Center at Stayton High. JAMES DAY

Groundbreaking Emotional day launches Stayton fitness center site By James Day It felt like a big pep rally before an important ball game. People just kept showing up in the Stayton High gym. Faculty members and administrators. Community members and boosters. When the school bell rang at noon, throngs of students came in, donning the same white commemorative T-shirts that dominated the rest of the crowd. Thus, the Ty Hart Memorial Fitness Center was inaugurated. A facilities upgrade that has been on the wish list of school officials and boosters for years, is happening. It took auction-help from the Stayton Boosters Club, massive in-kind materials and labor donations from area companies, and a clinching-the-deal cash contribution by the Hart family. Wait, let’s stop right there. First, we have to explain who Ty Hart was and why he matters at Stayton High. Hart, a threesport athlete, cheerleader and 2012 Stayton grad, took his love of fitness and adventure and duty to the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was serving as a lance corporal and helicopter pilot when he died in a crash off Hawaii in 2016.

“Everyone who knew Ty remembers him as a student-athlete that represented all of the values that we cherish here at SHS,” said Athletic Director Darren Shryock. “Someone like that is worth remembering well beyond our lifetime.” Superintendent Lee Loving said that Ty “was a great example of how to do life and make every day count.” Ty’s mother, Trina, though, got the last word. Trina Hart, also a Stayton grad and a former member of the school’s legendary Highlights dance and drill team, pointed to a far corner of the gym to note where the weight room was during her school days. “We are very Eagle proud and we need a weight room that is bigger than that,” she said. “We wanted to do something to build a legacy. Being fit was really important to Ty. There is something special about Stayton High and this is about you and the future at a place where you belong. You guys get a place to work out and stay fit and I’m honored to be part of this.” The student section rose in a heartfelt standing ovation that cascaded to the rest of the gym. Then, everyone went through the

gym door to the staked-out spot where the 6,000-square-foot facility will stand between the gym and the football-soccer-track and field stadium. A new access road will be built and fencing added that will make the stadium entrance more inviting. Booster Randy Forrette brought together the key donors to turn over shovels of dirt and everyone posed for photos. In remarks, Forrette noted that five companies came through with a total of $100,000 in donations and other assistance in the final 24 hours. Donors include the Hart family, Emery and Sons Construction, Siegmund Companies, the Joe Wolf family, Freres Engineered Wood, Jungwirth Electric, Green Acres Landscape, Marion Construction, Brundage and Bone, R2M2, Industrial Concrete, and Harris Rebar. Forrette said the building, which will feature the innovative Freres mass plywood panels, will cost approximately $1 million. The hope is to have it ready for the fall of 2024. “The primary purpose of the fitness center is to increase the appeal and accessibility of our current weight room. ... We are very limited in regards to the number of students who


Monday – Friday 10:00 to 4:30

“The key goals are to increase the overall health of our students and our athletes. We obviously think this will increase the performance level of our high school athletes, but more importantly, we believe it will make them healthy adults. When healthy habits are formed in high school, the likelihood of those habits staying with someone greatly increases.” The Ty Hart Memorial Fitness Center will be available for the use of students, athletes and staff, Shryock added, and it follows a series of other facilities upgrades engineered by Shryock, Forrette, district staff and the community at large. A video noted the upgrades, including field turf at the stadium, softball and baseball hitting facilities, softball infield turf, resurfacing the tennis courts, and making major updates to the main gym. And new paint seemingly everywhere. If you build it, to tweak a phrase, you can make a difference.

At The Birth of Our Savior! In the spirit of this holy season, we’d like to extend our best wishes to you and your family, along with our thanks for your goodwill all year long.

Eves & Wknds By Appt

Doing the Right Thing Matters

Helping is something that runs deep with us. And it’s something we’ve stood for since Les Schwab opened its doors in 1952. Doing the Right Thing Matters isn’t just a tag line – it’s our promise to always put you and the community first.

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20 • December 2023

can be in there at once. The new facility will also have an updated trainer’s room as well as an additional storage area. All are very much needed,” AD Shryock explained.


2210 W. Washington St.~ Stayton 503-769-2935

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Continued success Cascade takes 3rd at 4A volleyball tourney The Cascade High volleyball program continues to run at an exceedingly high level. The Cougars won the 2021 Class 4A tournament, took second a year ago and finished third this season.

honored, as were center Tanner Fairfield, tackle Teagen Allen, kick returner Karstan Sande, defensive lineman Matthew Hinkle and linebackers Alex Kuenzi and Braden Johnson.

Cascadel also won Oregon West Conference titles in all three seasons and are 30-2 in league play during that span.

On the second team were guard Brayden Scott, Sande at wide receiver and defensive back, linebackers Alex Kuenzi and Carter Condon and place-kicker Nolan Abrams. The honorable mention list included Abrams at QB, Hunter Anundi (wide receiver and defensive back), slot receiver Hawkins, linebacker Morrisen Craig, TE/H-back Andrew Kirschenmann, guard David Walker, tackle Connor Legner and defensive lineman Bryce May.

“I felt that this season was very successful,” Cascade coach Cristina Williams told Our Town. “We ended 21-4, first place in league and third in state. These girls improved throughout the year and learned to work as a team and work together. I am very proud of how they performed at the state tournament and they competed well.” Seniors Jadyn Daviscourt and Annabelle Peterson were named first-team alltournament at Springfield after the Cougars defeated North Bend 3-1 in the quarterfinals, fell 3-0 to Marshfield in the semis and bounced back to blank Mazama 3-0 in the match for third place. Peterson had 45 kills, seven total blocks and 10 aces in the three matches, while Daviscourt had 67 digs and nine aces. Earlier, Daviscourt was named player of the year and Williams took top coaching honors in the Oregon West. Peterson, Irene Rocha Ibarra and Kamryn Sande of the Cougars were named to the first team, with Alexis Percy named to the second team and Bella Oliver earning honorable mention. Stayton, meanwhile, finished 9-11 overall and 5-5 in the Oregon West and came within one match of qualifying for state. Kaley Sitton, Kenzi Hollenbeck and Molly Schotthoefer were named second team allOregon West, with Kayla Neal Welke and Laina Atiyeh receiving honorable mention. Regis finished 12-8 overall and 7-8 in the brutally tough Tri-River Conference. The Rams fell one slot out of the playoffs, which included 7 Tri-River teams, three of which advanced to the state tournament. Adelle Otter of Regis was named to the third team of the league all-stars, with Rachel Koellmann and Abby Searles earning honorable mention. Football: Regis advanced to the Class 2A nine-man semifinals before falling 55-39 on Nov. 18 in a wild offensive battle against top-seeded Weston-McEwen/Griswold at Hermiston High. The No. 4 Rams, champions of the Tri-River Conference, finished 11-1. “I couldn’t have been more proud of the

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way they left everything on the field,” coach Joe Manibusan told Our Town. “We gave them a good run, we just couldn’t get the stops we needed. I couldn’t have asked for better senior leaders. It’s a blessing that I had these young men to help me navigate and lead this team. This class was a brotherhood, and they brought the whole team together showing the young ones how to lead and fight through adversity and overall how to be just great human beings.” Senior QB Kollin Schumacher threw for 437 yards and 3 TDs in the semifinal loss. Regis fell behind 21-0 early, but at one point got within one score at 41-33. Top targets Noah Koenig (nine catches for 128 yards and one TD), Charlie Miller (six catches for 182 and two TDs) and Parker Bartholomew (six for 72) gave the WEG secondary fits all night. The Rams received first-team slots on the all-conference team selected by league coaches. Honored were Thomas Bischoff (offensive line and linebacker), wide receiver and linebacker Koenig, Kollin Schumacher (quarterback and defensive back) and defensive back Miller. Bischoff also was named lineman of the year. On the second team were wide receiver Bartholomew, running back Noah Richter and defensive lineman Logan Kirsch. Receiving honorable mention were Tanner Lawson (offensive line and defensive line) and offensive lineman Abe Richter, wide receivers Miller and Fletcher Gould, Trevon Kuenzi (linebacker and placekicker), linebacker Luke Castillo and defensive back Korben Schumacher. Cascade, meanwhile, finished 7-4 after bowing out in a 24-19 Class 4A quarterfinal loss at Scappoose. The Cougars, under veteran but first-year Cascade coach Shane Hedrick, lost to No. 1 Henley, No. 2 Marist, No. 4 Scappoose and No. 9 Junction City. The four losses came by a total of 30 points, and the Cougars led in all four of them. The Cougars earned eight first-team slots on the all-district team selected by league coaches. Defensive back Josiah Hawkins and running back Bryce Kuenzi were

Stayton, which finished 4-5 overall and 2-4 in Special District 3, placed linebacker Kale Hubert on the first team. Secondteamers included Lyric Burroughs (guard and defensive line), linebacker Wyatt Fred, TE/H-back Hubert, slot receiver Tanner Starbuck and wide receiver Bishop Szmyd. Receiving honorable mention were Szymd (kick returner), center Joseph Sessums, wide receiver Ethan Wieldon, running back Hunter Mollerstrum and quarterback Hudson Hughes. Boys Soccer: Stayton captured the Oregon West title with an 8-0-2 mark and finished 11-2-2 overall. The Eagles, seeded third in the Class 4A playoffs, were stunned 3-2 in the first round by a No. 14 Estacada squad led by superstar Jose Gonzalez-Felician. The league title marked the fifth year in a

row that the Eagles have won or shared the title and coach Chris Shields was named coach of the year. Honored on the all-district team from Stayton were field player Ismael Esparza, defender Addison Samuell and goalkeeper Roman Gould. On the second team were field players Angel Garcia and Jesse Wright, with field player Jonathan Garcia and defender Diego Gomez receiving honorable mention. Defender Brooks Rasmussen and goalie Tanen Swing of Cascade received honorable mention. Cross Country: The Stayton girls finished 9th in the Class 4A championships held in sloppy conditions on Nov. 4 at Lane Community College in Eugene. The Eagles were led by Haley Butenschoen, who finished the 5,000 meters 20:46.6. Others participating for Stayton were Ruby Strawn (34th, 21:29.1), Amalia Bell (36th, 21:32.8), Emma Spencer (76th, 23:56.2), Alondra Vazquez-Martinez (78th, 23:57.3), Madison Schacher (79th, 23:57.9) and Adrie Duke (90th, 24:57.5). Stayton advanced as a team by finishing second behind Philomath in the Oregon West meet. Makaila Kuenzi of Cascade, who qualified as an individual, was 20th in 20:44.9. In the girls Class 3A-2A-1A meet Clara Persons of Regis finished 26th in 20:54.5. In the boys 2A meet Stuart McLaughlin took 20th in 18:12.5.

Sports Datebook Friday, Dec. 1 Girls Basketball 5:30 p.m. Stayton vs Elmira Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Stayton vs Elmira

Thursday, Dec. 14 Wrestling TBD Regis & Santiam @ Santiam Round Robin, Santiam High

Friday, Dec. 15

Wrestling 10 a.m. Stayton & Cascade @ Perry Burlison Classic, Cascade High

Boys Basketball 5:30 p.m. Cascade vs Central Girls Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs Central

Tuesday, Dec. 5

Saturday, Dec. 16

Saturday, Dec. 2

Girls Basketball 5:30 p.m. Stayton vs Marist Catholic 5:30 p.m. Regis vs Knappa Boys Basketball 7 p.m. Stayton vs Marist Catholic 7 p.m. Regis vs Knappa

Thursday, Dec. 7 Girls Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs Dallas


Wrestling Stayton @ SCTC Duals

Wednesday, Dec. 20 Boys & Girls Basketball Regis Holiday Tournament

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Boys Basketball Stayton @ SCTC Holiday Classic Girls Basketball 7 p.m. Cascade vs South Albany Stayton @ SCTC Holiday Classic

Thursday, Dec. 28

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Boys & Girls Basketball Stayton @ SCTC Holiday Classic Swimming TBD Stayton Invitation

*Home varsity events only. Visit osaa.org for complete schedules.

Friday, Dec. 29

Boys & Girls Basketball Regis Holiday Tournament

Boys & Girls Basketball Stayton @ SCTC Holiday Classic

December 2023 • 21

A Grin at the End

Lessons in fortune Realizing how lucky we are By Carl Sampson

Another was a retired medic rebuilding his strength after a setback.

As we come down the home stretch of 2023, it’s time to take an inventory. Some of the major events of the year:

Yet they all were optimistic, funny, ornery and, overall, sweethearts. I miss them.

Went snorkeling with the family in Hawaii. Check. Didn’t drown. Check. Took about 20 minutes to recuperate from not drowning. Check. Took about 30 seconds to figure out that I might have a problem more serious than “a little heartburn.” Check. Listened to my doctor – for once. Check. Had major heart surgery. Check. Didn’t die. Check. Learned how to walk again. In fact, I learned how to do everything again. Check. Learned that I can’t do everything for myself – and I never could. Check.

Figured out that I can overcome just about anything, if I try. Check. Trying is the hard part. Check. Went back to work. Check. Went to heart rehab. Met some of the most amazing people ever. Some had survived heart attacks. Others had heart failure. All of the them had stood at the precipice of life. They knew they had been close to death. One, a retired Marine, was recuperating from his sixth heart attack. “I remember when they put the paddles on my chest and shocked me,” he told us.

When I hear people complain – whine – about their plight, part of me wants to say, “Buck up, junior. You got it easy. You have your health. I know people who feel as though they hit the lottery every time they wake up. Making it to the bathroom is a major achievement. And you’re complaining that you’re special and that you’re owed happiness. You’re not.” Every day I think of my “classmates” in rehab. I feel lucky to have known them and witnessed their courage. One woman had an ultrasound of her heart during every session. Just to make sure it was still working right.

me she was lucky. In a sense, we are all lucky. It certainly shouldn’t take a heart attack to remind us of that fact. We are lucky to be riding this planet through the void of the universe, and that the sun provides us with warmth, and life. This was quite a year. In fact, every year is special. One miracle after another. One reminder after another that we have been put here for a reason. To make the best of our time here on the planet. So what will 2024 bring? Beats me. But I will do my best to remember the lessons I’ve learned. To be kind. To love everyone. To appreciate the big things – and the little things. And to give thanks.

Everything You Need, For Anything Yo That’s courage.

2023 was the best year ever, but I would bet that 2024 will be even better. I’m looking forward to it, and the many lessons yet to be learned.


Another was a 42-year-old woman who was trying to head off heart failure.

Another woman had a heart attack and the doctor had inserted a couple of stents into her blocked heart arteries. She told

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

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