Page 1

School Spotlight

Helping Hands

Districts prepare for new year with in-person learning – Page 6

Santiam Canyon Wildfire Fund from Relief to Recovery – Page 13


Serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama

Vol. 18 No. 9

September 2021

Return of the giant monsters – Page 8

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



Sports & Recreation

New coaches ready teams for Fall season – Page 17

Historic Downtown






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Something Fun

Aumsville’s ‘Tiny Village’ plan ...............4 Corn Festival earns cultural honors........5 Back to School round up........................6 New team at South Falls Café................7

The deadline for placing an ad in the Oct. 1 issue is Sept. 20.

Something to Do Monster trucks rumble into Sublimity....8



Helping Hands


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Turn, Turn, Turn

Wildfire relief one year later............... 13 Mill City hosts wildfire memorial......... 13

aintenance M General Clean-up

2340 Martin Drive #104, Stayton • 503-769-9525

School Spotlight

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

Ziply plans Silverton fiber expansion....14

A Slice of the Pie Tips for making school lunches they’ll eat!......................................... 15

On the Cover Monster trucks and much more are back at the Sublimity Harvest Festival. ORIGINAL IMAGE © DEYANGEORGIEV/ 123RF.COM

Sports & Recreation

New coaches for fall programs...............16

Sports Datebook............17

Above South Falls Café is now under new management. COURTESY OREGON COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND

Calendar listings are free for community events. Submissions must include date, time, location and cost. Submissions for the Oct. 1 issue are due Sept. 20. Email calendar items to: Our Town is mailed free to residents and businesses in the 97383, 97385, 97358 and 97325 zip codes. Subscriptions outside the area are $36 annually. Thank you for spending time with Our Town. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

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September 2021 • 3

Something Fun

A place called Maude’s

Aumsville developing a new ‘tiny village’

By Mary Owen Aumsville’s Tiny Business Village in Porter-Boone Park has stirred up community interest. “We will be branding this building as Maude’s,” said Ron Harding, city administrator. “Maude Boone was the person who donated the property now known as Porter-Boone. She was also the owner of the original market in Aumsville.” The Village, located by the tennis courts, will serve multi-purposes, but is primarily designated to provide a group of micro-retail spaces that will allow vendors to rent a space for Saturday Markets, Harding said. The structure will allow vendors not have to set up and take down each month of the summer markets, he added. “With the facility we hope to attract local farmers who can set up, with fruits

Schematic of the Tiny Business Village in Aumsville’s Porter-Boone Park – a.k.a. Maude’s.

and vegetable, or flowers and or goods like bakery items,” Harding said. “These types of vendors will be given priorities.” Electrical connections will be included for the convenience of food trucks to set up next to the building, Harding said. “The market is a great opportunity for start-up entities to test their products but is also a great place to gather and get to know others,” he said. “We plan on expanding the area to include, benches, landscaping, and hopefully attract visitors


and vendors to the area.” Harding said the building might be used for certain community events, but will not be fully utilized until next summer. “We can warm up an enclosed facility to use during our Christmas event,” he said. “As an example, we might have Santa Claus use our space for photos or to just greet the kids. It really does provide some great flexible space.” Space in the building will be dedicated for administrative services to hold tables,

chair and equipment for general park event use and support, he said. The Tiny Business Village was paid for using a $45,000 Marion County prosperity grant along with a $20,000 city match. Also on the drawing board are handicapaccessible playground equipment, a dog park, a community art program, and a proposal for a new 23-acre park on the east city of the city along Bishop Road, according to the latest city updates.

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Kernel of truth By Mary Owen

The Aumsville Corn Festival celebrated 53 years of “fun, festivities and free corn” on Aug. 20-21, earning recognition from the Oregon Heritage Commission. “We are also excited that the Corn Festival has been designated a heritage event by the Oregon Heritage Foundation,” said Ron Harding, city administrator. Commissioner Anne LeVant Prahl from the Oregon Heritage Commission presented the designation to the Aumsville City Council on Aug. 9. According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the Corn Festival is the 26th event in Oregon to earn this designation. Other Oregon Heritage traditions include the Great Oregon Steam-up in Brooks, Oregon State Fair, Pear Blossom Festival in Medford, the Pendleton Round-Up, the Portland Rose Festival, and Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana.

Aumsville Corn Festival receives heritage recognition

“The designation recognizes those traditions that have been ongoing for 50 years or more and that add to the livability and identity of the state,” said Katie Henry, Oregon Heritage Commission Coordinator.

is sold or given away each year. The corn is locally grown with the city contracting with a farmer in January to grow corn specifically for the August festival. The Aumsville City Council modified last year’s festival to be a drive-thru event where free corn was given to visitors and a video contest and citywide scavenger hunt took place, Harding said.

“The Aumsville Corn Festival preserves the agricultural heritage of the area in a time where agriculture is evolving and diversifying. It’s a great family event that has opportunities for all that attend, from the community and tourists to the area.” The Corn Festival began in 1968 with a group of Aumsville residents who organized a corn feed at the local park. In 1969, they added a parade, sack races and other family games, and gave away hot buttered corn. Today’s festival also offers vendor booths, entertainment and contests. Garage sales are held throughout the city, a kick-off party takes place on the Friday before the big day at Mill Creek Park, and the

The Oregon Heritage Commision’s Tradition designation.

Aumsville Fire District starts Saturday off with a pancake breakfast each year. The event is free to attend and attendance is estimated by how many pounds of corn

The Oregon Heritage Commission coordinates efforts to solve statewide heritage issues through grants, education, and advocacy, and also promotes heritage tourism efforts. To learn more about the commission and its efforts visit www.

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September 2021 • 5

School Spotlight

Class in session By Mary Owen Sublimity School will start out the new school year with a new principal. Ryan Westenskow formerly worked in the La Grande School District, and will replace Missy Riesterer, who retired in June. The North Santiam School District will also be opening Options Academy for in-person learning for Stayton High School students in grades 9-12. “This will be happening in temporary quarters across the street from SHS until the Options Academy building is constructed,” said Andy Gardner, superintendent. “We hope to complete the building during the upcoming school year.” NSSD is also in the middle of completing a turf softball field at SHS. Gardner said the work, including an irrigation system in the outfield, will be complete in the coming weeks. “Working with the SHS Boosters, the gym floor at Stayton High School has been refinished and painted with new colors and Eagles,” he said. “We are excited to have the community attend games and see the changes.” Gardner senses an overwhelming commitment and resolve from both staff and parents to have school be in person this fall. “Most of the nervousness that has been communicated is a fear that schools will be moved to distance learning,” he said about feedback the district has received. “There has never been a time when going to school was so important to our kids. We all agree about that, and I look forward to cooperating with our families and our community to making this happen.” Principal Candi Hedrick at Regis St. Mary School said both campuses have undergone extensive upgrade this summer as a result of a successful Building Our Future capital campaign. “St. Mary has new flooring, a fresh coat of interior and exterior paint, beautiful new ceilings and LED lights, and technology upgrades in each classroom,” Hedrick

Regional schools prepare for new year amid protocols said. “The Regis High School classrooms air conditioning units have been installed, our counseling center has been expanded, the Chapel has been enhanced and upgraded, and the new landscaping has our grounds looking better than ever.” Students, staff and parents are ready to return to school this fall, Hedrick said. “We were able to fully return in January of last year,” she said. “With the protocols we had in place, we were able to finish the school year strong and healthy!” Hedrick said outdoor learning spaces will be created on both campuses so that students and teachers will have access to flexible spacing and classroom environments both indoors and outdoors during the school day. “Our schools will also be following the mask mandates and will continue with the increased cleaning schedules, which we began at the start of COVID,” she said. “Ensuring a healthy environment for staff and students is still an on-going priority. The Regis St. Mary community has been “incredibly supportive during the pandemic and that has made all the difference as we navigate educational changes and new policies.” Hedrick added, “It’s clear that our children are a priority in this community, and we are thankful to have the support needed to keep our schools open and fully functioning.” Superintendent Darin Drill welcomed Cascade School District families to the new school year by saying, “Without a doubt, this is the start of the most unique school year I’ve ever experience. I can also say without a doubt that we have the staff and students that can handle these challenges.” Over the summer, Drill said Cascade administrators worked hard to prepare the District for the upcoming school year. “Obviously, this year’s opening has been challenging considering all the mandates that have been put on school districts since the end of July,” Drill said. “Many students and parents are nervous and frustrated about what school will look like for their students considering what COVID

has done to all of us.” Drill said some parents are unhappy about the mask mandate that was handed down to schools, while other parents want Cascade to follow every rule that has been given. “The schools are stuck in the middle of the debate trying to figure out a way to best educate every student to the best of our ability,” Drill said. “Cascade is committed to doing just that... educating every student the best way we can. Cascade staff is outstanding, and I fully believe that they will once again do great things with our students.” Recently The Oregonian ran an article that showed Cascade School District was 8th out of every school district in the state for face-to-face instruction in the last school year, Drill said. “We accomplished that with minimal COVID issues and with no COVID spread among staff and students,” he said. “We believe that having local control over school decisions is the best way to get students into school safely and address their social emotional needs. We continue to advocate for local control with ODE and the Governor’s office and will not stop doing so. However, Cascade will not violate the law.” Drill reports that Cascade is a part of the Willamette Career Academy this year. “The former Toys ‘R’ Us building in Salem has been renovated and converted into a career and technical education center for students in this region,” he said. “We have a number of students signed up for the career pathways that are offered and will add more students in the 2022-23 school year as well.” According to Drill, Cascade continues to have over a 93 percent graduation rate and over a 95 percent freshmen on-track rate, some of the highest rates in the state. “We are looking forward to a great school year,” said Drill, who told students, parents and staff, “I can’t wait to see the amazing things students will do this year!” Todd Miller, superintendent of the Santiam Canyon School District, doesn’t want COVID to overshadow “all the great work happening in our schools this year.”

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Falls café reopens Under new management “There is a lot of anxiety and concern over the return to school this fall, from COVID safety concerns to masks to vaccines,” Miller said. “It is a difficult time to navigate all these challenges, but our community is good at rising above and I feel confident we will persevere through this as well.” Since the state mandates masks to be worn inside of buildings again, Miller said COVID protocols are being followed. “Even with the new mandates, our goal remains to offer students the most effective in-person school experience we can, while maintaining and environment of safety and respect,” Miller said. “I have to say, COVID aside, we have the best systems, programs and staffing prepared for our schools this coming year that I have yet to see in this district. “Our new campus is ready to be fully used: new junior/ senior high school and new gymnasium and our elementary cafeteria,” he added. “Along with finished construction, we are adding new programs and supports from preschool through high school. We have the most amazing and comprehensive programming slated for the coming year. It is exciting!” Miller said the district is not offering a full-distance program this year. Families who want an online learning option will either have to partner with Oregon Charter Academy or choose to homeschool. “With that said, we do not want to lose families,” he said. “We love our kiddos and hope that conditions/mandates change so we can regain local control.” Miller doesn’t want staff and community to lose focus on the “great things happening and new ideas taking shape.” “I am thoroughly impressed with our team and the possibilities for the coming year, yet we stand at one of the most precarious crossroads I have ever seen,” he said. “I have confidence that all will work out. The kiddos of the Canyon deserve the best, and we intend to continue to offer it to them. We will do our job to keep our schools safe, while looking after our kids and our staff in these difficult times. It’s what we do.”

By Melissa Wagoner Char Hawkins has been managing snack bars for 23 years but her newest venture, the South Falls Café, located inside the South Falls Lodge at Silver Falls State Park, surpasses all the rest – especially when it comes to ambiance. “It’s beautiful out here,” Hawkins confirmed. “The fresh air, trees and birds. I leave my stress behind as I get closer and closer to the park each day.” A graduate of the Business Enterprise Training program – a course offered by the Oregon Commission for the Blind – Hawkins began managing her first snack bar in May 1998 thanks in part to the Randolph Sheppard Vending Facility Program – which assists those who are legally blind access business opportunities located on federal and state properties. “I like the challenge of something new and to build a business from scratch,” Hawkins said of her decision to apply for the opportunity to manage the South Falls Café, particularly because it has been closed for over a year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Opening for business during the long Memorial Day weekend, Hawkins hit the ground running.

South Falls Café in Silver Falls State Park. COURTESY OREGON COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND

“One thing I didn’t anticipate was the incredible number of snacks and drinks we would sell,” Hawkins – who oversees an average of 800 transactions each week with the help of 11 staff members – said. “We’re still getting used to that.” And it’s not just drinks and snacks, the menu also boasts a variety of sandwiches, wraps and salads as well. “[T]he South Falls Burger is a big hit,” Hawkins said when asked for a list of the café’s hottest sellers, “but we’re also selling a lot of Samuel Boardman Breakfast Burritos, a local Portland ice cream favorite, Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches, and Italian sodas.” Although currently the bulk of the café’s customers stem from the park’s estimated 1.1 million visitors each

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year, Hawkins is hoping to attract local customers as well, especially during the coming winter. “[F]or the winter months we’re starting to think about the seasonal offerings such as soups and more hot menu items,” Hawkins said. But whether the customers are tourists or locals, staying for dinner or just grabbing a drink to-go, Hawkins’ goal is for every patron to have a wonderful experience. “We want to provide the best service we can for the park visitors,” she emphasized. The South Falls Café is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside the South Falls Lodge in the heart of Silver Falls State Park.

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Monsters are back By Mary Owen Monster trucks will once again spin their wheels at the upcoming 48th Sublimity Harvest Festival this month. “We can’t wait!” said Becky Silbernagel, entertainment chair. “We have so much fun planned!” According to Silbernagel, steps will be taken to follow state COVID requirements. “Thank goodness we are an outdoor event!” Silbernagel said. Presented by Power Chevrolet, the festival takes place Sept. 10-12 at the Sublimity Harvest Festival Grounds, complete with food booths and commercial vendors. “Don’t miss Saturday,” Silbernagel said. “We will be remembering the 20th anniversary of 9/11 at 6 p.m. with a tribute featuring the Oregon National Guard.” Silbernagel said parking is different this year.

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“You can park on the grounds in premier parking, or you can park in our parking lot up the road from the grounds and be shuttled in,” she said. “All of that information can be found on our website.” Favorites are always the monster trucks and the modified tractors and trucks with their multi-engines and lots of noise, according to organizers. Monster trucks perform all three days. Trucks this year are Maniac driven by Dave Smith, Captain USA driven by Jeff Bainter, Devastator driven by Aaron Basl, Airborne Ranger driven by Joe Cypher, Wild Card driven by Bo Swanson, and Obsessed driven by Eric Swanson. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Friday, with live entertainment in the Coors Light tent, open to ages 21 and older. Pulling competition begins at 6 p.m. followed by the monsters.

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Live music by the Rock N Roll Cowboys will follow the monster trucks on the RPD Main Stage. Gates close at 1 a.m. Saturday’s action begins with the 43rd annual Sublimity Harvest Festival Road Run and Walk at 9 a.m. at Sublimity Elementary School. The courses are excellent for the competitive runner, the fun runner, and the walker. The fun run is sponsored by Santiam Hospital.

Registration is $20; ages 12 and under are free. Following the fun run will be the Harvest Festival parade. Judging starts at 9:30 a.m. and the parade at 11 a.m. Register prior to Sept. 1 to ensure placement in correct class. Entry fee is $10, and registration forms are online. Gates open at noon and live entertainment for all ages runs until 6 p.m. Nathan Myers will perform at 1:303:30 p.m. and Acoustic Lens at 4:30-6:30 p.m. Stock and modified truck pulls begin at 1 p.m., then the evening show at 6 p.m. followed by monster trucks. Entertainment in the Coors Light tent will be for ages 21 and older only from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with live music by Jake Nacrelli. Main Stage Entertainment is sponsored by RPD Truck Services. Sunday kicks off with the annual Santiam Hospital Auxiliary Harvest Festival breakfast, featuring pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee, milk and juice. Cost is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors 60+, $5 for kids 5-10, and free for kids 4 and under. The first fundraiser since COVID, the breakfast will be from 7 a.m. to noon at the Sublimity Fire Hall. Proceeds help fund the Auxiliary Medical Scholarship Program and purchase needed items for the hospital. For information, call 503749-2910. Sunday’s entertainment will be provided after the monster trucks by SandLynn at 2-4 p.m. in the Coors Light Entertainment tent. Also on the schedule are ATV pulls, 10 a.m.; horse pulls, 11 a.m.; tractor pulls, 1 p.m.; and ending with monster trucks at 3 p.m. The festival closes at 6 p.m. Opening times for the KidZone, complete with a variety of inflatable slides and obstacle courses, are 5 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Organizers predict kids will have great fun in the water attractions and with the KidZone zip line. Tickets are $1 each, 25 for $20. or 65 for $50. The KidZone sponsor is Stettler Supply Company. All events are general admission, and tickets at the gates are Friday, $20 for adults, $10 for seniors and children 6-12; Saturday, $23 for adults, $11.50 for seniors and children 6-12; and Sunday, $15 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and children 6-12. Children 5 and under are OurTown / Santiam

Sublimity Harvest Festival opens Sept. 10

Monster trucks are back tearing things up at the Harvest Festival arena.

free. Tickets purchased online in advance will be at a discount while supplies last. A direct link to Afton Tickets can be found on the festival website. Shuttle service to and from the grounds will be available at Stayton Middle School, Stayton Elementary, Sublimity Fire Department and Aumsville Market. Shuttles will arrive on the half-hour and depart 50 minutes past the hour every hour until the final shuttle leaves the


grounds at 12:50 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5:50 p.m. on Sunday. A full schedule is on the website.

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September 2021 • 9

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 •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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, Senior Meals, 11:30 a.m. Delivery only. Age 60 and older. Serves Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Gates, Lyons, Mehama. Repeats Wed., Fri. $3 donation suggested. Ginger, 503-769-7995


Storytime, 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. For children, family members. Takes place outside. Space is limited. Register: calendar or at the library. 503-769-3313


St. Boniface Archives and Museum, 9 a.m. - noon, 370 Main St., Sublimity. Learn about Sublimity and possibly your family history. Free. 503-508-0312 Stayton Area Rotary, noon, Santiam Golf Club, 8724 Golf Club Road, Aumsville. Guests welcome. 503-5089431,


Mama´s Community Market, 1 - 6 p.m., Aumsville Pentecostal Church, 10153 Mill Creek Road, Aumsville. Food Pantry. 971-710-5665 Yoga in the Park, 6 p.m., Stayton Pioneer Park, 450 N Seventh Ave. Wanna Yoga LLC hosts beginnerfriendly, guided yoga in the park. All levels welcome. Classes are donationbased. Repeats 9 a.m. Saturdays. Rachel,


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

Wednesday, Sept. 1 SSCOC Greeters

8:30 a.m., K’s Koffee, 103 S Center St., Ste. E, Sublimity. Weekly networking forum sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-769-3464,

10 • September 2021

Red Hat Strutters

Noon, Moxieberry Cafe, 429 N Third Ave., Stayton. Order from menu. New members, guests welcome. RSVP to Hostess Margie Forrest, 503-767-2233.

Stayton Farmers Market

3 - 7 p.m., corner of Third Avenue and Florence Street, Stayton. Produce, crafts, handmade items. Rain or shine. Sponsored by Revitalize Downtown Stayton. Repeats Sept. 8. Kara, 503-730-5784, farmersmarket@

Santiam Heritage Foundation Board 6:30 p.m., Brown House Event Center, 425 N First Ave., Stayton. Open to public, prospective volunteers. 503-769-8860,

Saturday, Sept. 4 Santiam Grange Flea Market

9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1145 Fifth St., Lyons. Collectibles, crafts. Cheeseburger/hamburger lunch to go; limited seating. Mask and social distancing. 503-859-2161

Aumsville Saturday Market

9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Porter-Boone Park, 1105 Main St. Local vendors, food trucks. Repeats Sept. 11.

Sunday, Sept. 5 Art on the Porch

2 - 7 p.m., Not So Shabby, 618 N Second Ave., Stayton. Becca Hansen, Nathan Brown and other local artists share their art. Demonstrations of art in action. 503-510-2333

Santiam SummerFest

4 - 10 p.m., Church Park, 371 E Main St., Sublimity. Local vendors, food trucks, kids activities, entertainment with a family-friendly movie at dusk. Sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce.

Caregiver Connection

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

Thursday, Sept. 9

N. Santiam Service Integration Team 9 a.m., Santiam Center, 11656 SE Sublimity Road #200, Sublimity. Collaborative effort between local social service, civic, nonprofit, churches seeking to provide resources for individuals, families. Melissa, 503-7699319,

North Santiam Watershed Council

6 p.m. Zoom. Open to public. Meeting ID: 890 8301 3419. Password: 475977. 503-930-8202,

Aumsville Fire District

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

Friday, Sept. 10 Sublimity Harvest Festival

5 p.m. - 1 a.m., Sublimity Harvest Festival Grounds, 11880 SE Sublimity Road. Tractor pulling competition, monster trucks, live music, beer garden. Repeats noon - 1 a.m. Sept. 11, 9 a.m. 6 p.m. Sept. 12. For pricing and schedule of events, visit

Saturday, Sept. 11 Harvest Festival Fun Run

9 a.m., Sublimity School, 431 E Main St. 10K, 5K, 3K. $20 per person. Kids 12 and under free. Register online at Benefits Sublimity Parent Teacher Club.

Sublimity Harvest Festival Parade 11 a.m. downtown Sublimity.

Sunday, Sept. 12 Harvest Breakfast

7 a.m. - noon, Sublimity Fire Station, 115 N Parker St. Pancake, eggs, sausage, beverages. $7 adults. $6 seniors 60+. $5 children 5 - 10. Children 4 and under free. Benefits Santiam Hospital Auxiliary scholarship program. Pat, 503-769-3381

Brown House Tour

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

Monday, Sept. 13

Stayton City Council Work Session

6 p.m. YouTube. Open to public. https:// 503-769-3425,

Sublimity City Council

6 p.m., Teleconference. Open to public. Viewing information: 503-769-5475,

Lyons Fire District Board

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

Stayton Fire District

7 p.m.,. Marion Fire Station, 5898 Stayton Road, Turner. Open to public. 503-769-2601,

Aumsville City Council

7 p.m., Chester Bridges Memorial Community Center, 555 Main St., Aumsville. Open top public. Agenda available. 503-749-2030,

Tuesday, Sept. 14 Stayton Library Events

11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave. Pick up Take & Make Tiny Art Show kits for ages 7 - 11, teens and adults. Modified kits for those 6 and under. While supplies last. Free. 503-769-3313

Ancestry Detectives

10 a.m. Zoom. Susan Baird shares updates to Family Search database and a mystery website. For Zoom invite, contact David Stewart, ancestrydetectives353@gmail. com or visit

Monday, Sept. 6 Labor Day Wednesday, Sept. 8

RDS Board Meeting

SSCOC Greeters

6 p.m., The Box, 298 E High St., Stayton. Revitalize Downtown Stayton monthly meeting. Open to public. 503-767-2317,

8:30 a.m., Church Park, 371 E Main St., Sublimity. Hosted by Oregon Senior Living. Weekly networking forum sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-7693464,

Santiam Historical Society

Homeschool Day

6p.m., Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave. Annual meeting, election of officers, revisions to bylaws. 503-743-2639

10 a.m. - 2 p.m., The Oregon Garden, 879 W Main St., Silverton. Homeschool students ages 5 - 12 can participate in a day of outdoor learning. Preregistration not required. $9 adults, $4 age 5-17. Children 4 and under free. 503-799-4792, OurTown / Santiam

Cascade School Board

7 p.m., Cascade District Office, 10226 SE Marion Road, Turner. Open to public. 503-749-8010,

Wednesday, Sept. 15 SSCOC Greeters

8:30 a.m., TBA. Hosted by APG Enterprises. Networking forum sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-769-3464,

Red Cross Blood Drive

11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Aumsville Rural Fire District, 490 Church St. Appointments needed by visiting

Doris’s Place Luncheon

Noon, Foothills Church, 975 SE Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Free event highlighting the power of prevention and return on investment that Family Building Blocks early childhood programs provide. Hear family success stories. The program will be held online, also. Julie Hilty at 503566-2132.

Caregiver Connection

Cascade Service Integration Team

9 a.m., Turner Fire Department, 7605 SE Third St. Collaborative effort between local social service, civic, nonprofit, churches seeking to provide resources for individuals, families. Melissa, 503-769-9319, mbaurer@

NSSD Board Special Session

6 p.m., District Office, 1155 N First Ave., Stayton. Board meeting for North Santiam School District. Open to public. Agenda available. Also, virtually on Zoom. 503-7696924,

Saturday, Sept. 18 Bridges, Bikes and Brews

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Linn County Lamb and Wool Fairgrounds, 38764 N Ash St., Scio. Familyfriendly covered bridge bicycle tour, guided passenger van tours, local craft brews, live music. Bike tours $5 for 17 and younger, $10 for 18 and older, $30 for family of four or more. Van tours $10 for 17 and younger, $20 for 18 and older, $50 for family of four (2 adults, 2 children). Limited seating. To register, visit

Reds, White and Brews

Santiam Canyon Integration Team

Monday, Sept. 20

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

Red Cross Blood Drive

1 - 6 p.m., Foothills Church, 975 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton. Appointments needed by visiting

Stayton City Council

Joseph’s Storehouse of Hope

Thursday, Sept. 16

Turkey Dinner

Mount Angel Oktoberfest

All day, Mt. Angel. Food, crafts, music, dancing, car shows, free children’s area. Repeats through Sept 19. For full schedule of events, visit

5 - 7 p.m., Santiam Valley Grange, 1145 Fifth St., Lyons. Turkey dinner with all the fixings. Social distance seating and meals to go. Masks required. 503-859-2161

190 East Ida St. Stayton, OR 97383

503-769-7232 OurTown / Santiam

Sublimity Planning Commission

5 p.m. - 8 p.m., Stayton Community Center, 400 W Virginia St. Thousands of books, DVDs, CDs and more. Benefit Stayton Friends of the Library. 503-769-3313

Stayton Public Library Board

11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Mari-Linn School, 641 Fifth St., Lyons. Food boxes. 503-881-9846

Thursday, Sept. 30

8:30 a.m., Aumsville Rural Fire District, 490 Church St. Weekly networking forum sponsored by Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce. 503-769-3464

SSCOC Greeters

10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sublimity Fire Station, 115 NW Parker St. Appointments needed by visiting

6 p.m., Stayton Public Library, 515 N First Ave. Open to public. 503-769-3313

Lyons City Council

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Monday, Sept. 27

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

10:30 a.m., Gates Fire Hall, 140 E Sorbin Ave. Collaborative effort between local social service, civic, nonprofit, churches seeking to provide resources for individuals, families in local communities. Melissa, 503-769-9319, mbaurer@

4:30 p.m., Teleconference. Open to public. Agenda available. Viewing information available at 503-769-5475, information@

6 p.m. YouTube. Open to public. https:// 503-769-3425

Bethel Clothing Closet

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

Tuesday, Sept. 28

5:30 - 9 p.m., Santiam Golf Club, 8724 SE Golf Club Road, Aumsville. Wine, craft beer and cider tasting, appetizers, dinner, silent auction, drawings. Tickets $45 or $350 for a table of 8. Hosted by Stayton Area Rotary benefitting Polio Plus, scholarships, community projects, local youth activities.

Red Cross Blood Drive

Stayton FOL Used Book Sale

share your announcements with us

Stayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Stayton Community Center, 400 W Virginia St. Open to public. Agenda available. 503-769-2998,

A heartfelt thank you to Stayton/Sublimity and surrounding areas for keeping us around as we celebrate our 30th year! Your patronage is the reason we are still here to serve our community. We celebrate this achievement with a fully remodeled dining room, a full-service liquor license & bar, 6 big-screen TVs, video lottery & Keno. Thank you, Kerry & Shawna Johnson & Team Ugo’s

September 2021 • 11

Service and Installation Residential and Commercial • Air Conditioners • Furnaces • Heat Pumps • Repairs & Replacements



Local service and rentals here in the canyon! 8:00 - 6:00 Mon.-Sat.

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(503) 509-0418 1200 Wilco Rd, Stayton 12 • September 2021 OurTown / Santiam

Helping Hands

One year later By Melissa Wagoner Recovering from a disaster like the one that devastated the Santiam Canyon during the Labor Day fires in 2020 is neither quick nor easy, a reality that was recognized early by the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund (SCWRF) Advisory Committee, a nonprofit established on Sept. 11, 2020 to support the recovery and rebuilding of those communities most affected by the fire. “As of July 7, $1,015,337 has been distributed to support the Santiam Canyon residents affected by the September 2020 wildfires,” SCWRF Advisory Committee Member and Santiam Canyon Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) Executive Team member Deana Freres said of the effort’s success thus far. “These dollars have supported the needs of 1,166 families, which include 2,244 adults, 300 children ages zero to five, and 575 children ages six to 18.” It’s a lot of money and a lot of residents helped, but it is nowhere near enough, she added. In fact, these figures are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total recovery effort the group plans to provide over the next five years. “At the Funds’ inception, SCWRF advisor’s identified three phases of support to help organize the relief and funding effort strategies,” Freres explained. “The budgeting strategy we apply is 10 percent of funds raised allocated to Phase One - Relief; 45 percent of funds raised allocated to Phase Two - Recovery; and 45 percent of funds raised allocated to Phase Three - Rebuild.” With phase one behind them, SCWRF is well into phase two – offering “Direct to Survivor ‘’ Recovery Grants to the tune of $2.9 million. “This grant program is released in ‘rounds,’ with each round accessible to different groups of wildfire affected residents in the Canyon,” Freres described. “To date, over $835,000 in direct-to-survivor Recovery Grants have been distributed from SCWRF.”

Relief fund moves to recovery Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund

Providing relief, support and assistance in rebuilding the communities of the Santiam Canyon. Donate, volunteer, apply for grants: www.santiamcanyonwildfirerelieffund.or

Santiam Service Integration Team Facilitating resources and information for individuals and families through the coordination of community providers and services. Matching individual and family needs to established local providers. Contact 503-769-9319 or

Santiam Long Term Recovery Group Providing resources to those rebuilding homes and lives in the Santiam Canyon. Information on clean-up, debris removal, hazardous materials. • Resources for property owners • Community updates • Local contractors

vouchers and camp stoves. Now, with efforts to rebuild the Canyon underway, SIT has increased its services even more. “SIT has expanded its footprint by joining forces with other organizations to build a team of Disaster Case Managers,” Freres explained.

Fire memorial set for Sept. 5

Mill City has teamed with Marion County to bring the Canyon Strong Wildfire Memorial even t to commemorate those who died, support those who survived, and honor the firefighters who risked their lives to save their communities. The hour -long event begins at noon on Sunday, Sept. 5. “The goal for holding the memorial is to promote the healing process for those affected by the wildfires,” said Lynda Harrington, an event organize r. The program will feature stories of loss and grief, courage and sacrifice, and hope and resili ence as the community strives to move forward from one of the worst wildfires to hit the Santiam Canyon in recorded history. Marion County commissioners are also expected to speak, Harrington said. The 11 firefighters who stood their grou nd on Labor Day 2020 when the professionals were told to move to safety will be called lauded for their hero ism. After the program, Mike Stair, pastor of the Gates Community Church of Christ, and Carol Swanson, pastor of the Mill City Presbyterian Church, will facilitate an informal discussion at the Kimm el Park river shelter. A complimentary lunch will be provided by The Corn Dog Company of Central Oregon. For more information contact City Hall at 503-897-2302. – Mary Owen

Lawyer, a Policy Analyst for the Marion County Board of Commissioners leading LTRG’s Housing Team. “For the LTRG to be successful, it will rely upon a robust committee structure with passionate volunteers actively serving on committees who work to meet the needs of residents working to recover, rebuild, and return home,” Freres said.

“These Disaster Case Managers assist wildfire affected residents all the way through their recovery and rebuild process. They help identify which recovery / rebuild unmet needs a wildfire affected household has, then connect them to resources to keep them moving forward on their individual recovery plan. The Disaster Case Managers present the resident’s unmet needs to the newly formed Santiam Canyon Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG).”

While many positions have been filled, the need for more volunteers is there.

“It is critical to note that outside of the direct-tosurvivor Recovery Grant program, all Santiam Canyon residents affected by the fire continue to be supported by SCWRF through the Service Integration Team,” Freres said.

Similar to SIT, LTRG works with many local and national volunteer and funding organizations, providing a one-stop shop for resources that will help residents clean properties, advance through the rebuilding process, and navigate public infrastructure obstacles.

“Please help us promote the Round Two Recovery Grants,” Freres added. “They are not needs-based grants, and are available to homeowners who lost their primary residences or structures on the property of their primary residences...

The team – which was formed in conjunction with Santiam Hospital years before the fires took place – offers help in coordinating everything from filing an appeal with FEMA and navigating the insurance system to procuring necessary items like eyeglasses, laundry

“Both Marion County and Linn County are actively supporting and participating in the LTRG formation,” Freres said. The statement is evidenced by the long list of LTRG committee members ranging from Melissa Baurer, SIT Coordinator and LTRG Case Manager, to Matt

And that was just round one. Round two grants, which are still available, will be rolling out soon in allotments of up to $5,000 for those homeowners who sustained losses to structures, as well as round one recipients who need more funding. But it’s not just money the organization offers. OurTown / Santiam

“If anyone is interested in the inner workings of what is happening in this recovery effort moving forward, volunteering with the Santiam Canyon LTRG is the best place to get in on the action,” Freres said. Other ways include donations care of Santiam Hospital at or volunteering for SCWRF at

“And lastly, the LTRG and local governments are working together to host a memorial anniversary event on Sept. 7 and 8. We are looking for support from the community and our surrounding neighbors to acknowledge this important moment in time.”

September 2021 • 13


Faster, faster, faster By Mary Owen

When Ziply Fiber acquired Frontier Communication’s Northwest assets in May of 2020, Mill City and Silverton became part of its footprint. “At the time of the acquisition, the only internet option was DSL, and that’s something we are working hard to change,” said Dan Miller, senior vice president of Curator which handles public relations for the Washington-based Internet company. “We believe closing the digital divide is critical, ensuring high-speed broadband is available to our customers regardless of whether you live in highly populated urban center or a smaller rural town.” According to Miller, the project is in the planning and design phase right now, and will quickly move into permitting and construction. “Residents will start seeing our crews in the area in the not-too-distant future,” Miller said. “While it will take some time to complete the entire fiber build we plan to do in Mill City and Silverton, the first customers should be ready for service later this fall. We are very excited about what fiber Internet will mean for both cities.” Mill City and Silverton are just two of the 14 new market builds in Ziply Fiber’s latest expansion. Focusing mostly on smaller and rural towns, this latest expansion is in addition to the 22 new market builds announced

Ziply plans for Mill City fiber Internet upgrade

this spring. This brings the total number of fiber expansion markets since it acquired Frontier’s Northwest operations to 52.

in a big city to get great Internet. “And I think this work we’re doing now really shows how much we believe that,” he said. “High-quality, reliable, fast Internet is important for everyone, and it’s especially important for those who live and work in rural areas, many of which have not had the kind of network infrastructure in place to support the kinds of activities people regularly engage in today – video conferencing, online learning, streaming entertainment, online gaming and more.”

The company’s entire expansion effort is part of its $500 million multi-year investment to improve its network and service in both urban and rural settings throughout its four-state service area. When construction is complete, Miller said Ziply will offer several different services to both residences and businesses, including both fiber Internet and phone services, as well as some specialty services for businesses. “The three biggest perks we offer are no long-term residential service contracts, no data caps, and no confusing pricing models,” he said. “Installation is free, and we often run special promotions like free first month of Internet service or free upgrade to Whole Home Wi-Fi with a router lease. “Our residential plans start at 50 Mbps for both upload and download for just $20 a month, 200 Mbps for just $40 a month, and Gig-speed, our most popular plan, at just $60 a month,” he added. “These are the speeds you need to ensure you can stream content, work from home, and conduct distance learning without fear of dropped conference calls and buffering entertainment.” Miller said the company has always said that people shouldn’t have to live

Miller said in areas impacted by wildfires, the choice for the company is simple: to build back with fiber like it did in Idanha and Detroit last year. “It’s that deployment that now is allowing us to bring fiber to Mill City and Silverton,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be building out fiber in cities and towns and neighborhoods we’ve traveled and call home. Most of our leadership team grew up in the Northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years here, so we see ourselves as building a modern network for our friends and neighbors, which makes it personal to us to get it right.” Miller said fiber is the fastest, most reliable, highest-capacity option available. “For comparison, fiber is easily 20 times faster than most upload speeds from cable providers,” he said. “Fiber also can enable people to cut the cord

and move to streaming TV that much easier, likely saving themselves some money in the process. We’re happy to help people who want to learn more about it to have the choice and control to choose what and how they watch shows, movies, sports and more.” “Many of the communities we’re upgrading have never experienced anything like fiber before,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. With the increased demand for highspeed Internet to support online activities, entertainment and working from home, Ziply spent the last year investing and constructing a new stateof-the-art fiber-optic network, Zeitz said. “We’re thrilled to bring these improvements to rural and urban communities in the Northwest,” he added. While it will take time to upgrade 250,000 square miles of land throughout Ziply Fiber’s service area with new fiber-optic cables, local hubs, new offices and new hardware to run the network, the company reported it is “capitalized for and committed to expanding fiber to cover more than 80 percent of its territory in the next three years.” When it began building, fiber was accessible in just over 30 percent of its area, and the company is on pace to exceed the 50 percent mark by the end of 2021, company officials said.

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14 • September 2021 OurTown / Santiam

A Slice of the Pie

Lunch packing tips

Make it fun, fast and resourceful

For many parents, it’s been a while since they packed a school lunch. With the majority of students attending school remotely or in half-day increments last year, more often than not, kids were eating at home.

or leftovers – this will help them retain their heat.

But no more. With the first day of in-person school looming on the horizon, it’s time to dust off those lunch boxes, throw some freezer packs in the deep freeze and load the pantry with staples like pita chips, granola bars and sandwich bread.

• Precooked meatballs or chicken nuggets freeze well.

Or – if you’re really feeling rusty – implement some of these handy tips.

Stock up Keep the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked with these tasty items:

• Create a dedicated space for lunch supplies in the refrigerator and in the pantry – this will not only streamline packing; it will keep kids (and spouses) from eating lunch ingredients as snacks.

Time saving tips

• Get the scoop from your child’s teacher – How long do students have for lunch? Do they have access to a microwave or hot water? Where is food stored? • Start teaching your kids to pack their own lunches – not only is it empowering, they’re much more likely to eat it. • Make a master list of lunch ideas with your kids – post it. • Then make a master grocery list – post that as well. • Stock up on (and organize) an assortment of reusable packaging – jars and thermoses can be used for soups, salads and even sandwiches. While washable zippered pouches, bees wax cloths and bento boxes lower waste and make packing fast.

• Think outside the sandwich – make a deli meat or tortilla roll up.

Minimize food waste

• Prep the night before.

Plan ahead

• An array of fun dips can make eating vegetables more fun.

• Offer lunch leftovers as after school snacks (provided they are still safe to eat).

• Streamline packing – fill all the lunchboxes at once. • Keep it simple – they don’t need to be Instagram-worthy; they just need to be foods your child will eat. • Have multiple containers on hand in case one is misplaced or in the dishwasher. • Repeat favorites – no need for a new item every day. • Keep school lunches in mind when you’re making dinner. Can you cut up extra veggies for the next day? Shred extra chicken for a salad or wrap? Or portion out some leftovers to save time? • Clean out lunch boxes as soon as kids get home or – better yet, have them do it!

• Reinvent dinner leftovers as ingredients in a salad, sandwich, wrap or just preheat them and place inside a thermos. • Make sure all containers are kid friendly – if they can’t open it, they can’t eat it. • Make sure the food is still appetizing at lunchtime by using ice packs or a thermos as well as insulated lunch bags or boxes to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. • After cutting apples, rebind with a rubber band to minimize browning without adding a sour taste. • Buy in bulk to save on packaging, then use reusable containers to re-portion. • Preheat thermoses with boiling water before filling with hot soups, sandwiches

• An assortment of grains and toppings for customizable bowls – quinoa, rice, couscous, frozen veggies, beans, nuts, sauces and dressings can all be mixed and matched. • Serve breakfast for lunch with frozen waffles or pancakes, precooked bacon or an egg sandwich – it’s an especially fun treat for families who rarely have time for an elaborate morning meal. • A charcuterie spread – a customizable array of cheeses, crackers, dips, pickled veggies, fresh fruits and deli meats can be an easy diversion from the same old sandwiches but utilize many of the same ingredients. • Dried fruit – because fresh fruits can be difficult to pack. • Yogurt with fun toppings packed separately – fruit, jam, granola and nuts can all jazz things up. Just don’t forget the ice pack!

For all your insurance needs, call 503 767 7777. Blake Ewing Agency

Catch up with more local news and stories Facebook | OurTown Santiam OurTown / Santiam

120 S Center St, Sublimity 503-767-7777 (Office) • 971-239-1630 (Fax) •

September 2021 • 15

Sports & Recreation


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COVID still is out there, but so far the season will open with no major restrictions, either from the state or the Oregon Schools Activities Association. Here is a look at what’s new at Stayton, Regis and Cascade:

Carl W Leder,

Stayton: The Eagles are not charging PA-C admission for home games, a policy One unit contains 7.5 cubic yards that will extend into basketball season. Masks for athletes will not be required outdoors – at least as of this writing Stayton, Sublimity, Mill City, – but spectators, whether outdoors or Lyons, Gates, Scio indoors, will be required to mask up as Treatment Chronic Illness Three yard minimum for *freeof delivery per the governor’s most recent order. Call ahead to sChedule for delivery such as Diabetes/Hypertension There will be no limits on spectator capacity, but groups and families Preventative Care • Sports Medicine are asked to keep six feet of distance between them and other groups. Pediatrics • Geriatrics • Womens’ Health Care

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year as the coach of Eagles girls soccer. The program continues to make strong inroads with its facilities. Athletic Director Darren Shryock noted that the softball hitting facility is complete, a turf infield for softball will be ready for spring and the gym floor has been repainted to match the new interior paint. “It looks spectacular,” Shryock told Our Town. The Stayton football team, 1-4 a year ago, opens at home Sept. 3 vs. Estacada. The Oregon West Conference is a five-team league for football because Philomath will be playing down at 3A. The Eagles will face off with league foes Cascade, Sweet Home, Newport

Cascade: The Cougars open the football season Saturday, Sept. 4 at Baker. Cascade was 3-3 a year ago, with losses to 6A Canby, 5A Marist Catholic and a 4A playoff contest at Banks. Carlos Huber takes over the boys soccer coaching position at Cascade. Regis: The Rams have a new athletic director, former Olympic decathlete Dave Johnson, who also has run sports programs at Corban University and South Salem High School. Brynie Robinson moves over from league foe Colton to take over the Rams’ football program, which was 4-1 a year ago (the only loss was to 5-1 Kennedy). Regis also is starting a wrestling program. No coach has been named yet. Follow me on @jameshday.

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16 • September 2021

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Sports Datebook Wednesday, Sept. 1

Girls Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Molalla

Thursday, Sept. 2

Cross Country 4 p.m. Cascade, Regis @ Darrel Deedon Invitational

All home games

Girls Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs Newport/ Valley Catholic

Friday, Sept. 3

Football 7 p.m. Stayton vs Estacada

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Volleyball 6 p.m. Stayton vs Newport Boys Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs North Marion

Volleyball 6 p.m. Stayton vs Valley Catholic 6 p.m. Regis vs Blanchet Catholic

Friday, Sept. 10

Football 7 p.m. Cascade vs Elmira 7 p.m. Regis vs Harrisburg

Saturday, Sept. 11

Cross Country TBD Stayton, Cascade @ Stayton Invitational

Thursday, Sept. 16

Boys Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Philomath Volleyball 6 p.m. Stayton vs Cascade 6 p.m. Regis vs Monroe Girls Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs Newport/ Eddyville Charter

Thursday, Sept. 23

Boys Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Estacada 6 p.m. Stayton vs Sisters Volleyball 6 p.m. Cascade vs Newport

Girls Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Woodburn

Volleyball 6 p.m. Cascade vs Sweet Home

Boys Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs Sweet Home

Thursday, Sept. 30

Friday, Sept. 24

Friday, Sept. 17

Football 7 p.m. Regis vs Salem Academy

Football 7 p.m. Stayton vs Astoria 7 p.m. Cascade vs Tillamook

Tuesday, Sept. 21

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Volleyball 6 p.m. Cascade vs Philomath 6 p.m. Regis vs East Linn Christian

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Girls Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Sisters Boys Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs Philomath

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Boys Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Stayton

Now iN StaytoN

Boys Soccer 4:30 p.m. Cascade vs Newport/ Eddyville Charter Girls Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs Woodburn

Girls Soccer 6 p.m. Stayton vs Cascade

Volleyball TBD Cascade, Stayton @ Cascade Tournament

Tuesday, Sept. 14

Tuesday, Sept. 28

Volleyball 6 p.m. Stayton vs Woodburn

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September 2021 2021 • 17

A Grin at the End

Faster, higher, stronger

Oregon style

The Olympics have been over for some time now, but I’m not over the Olympics. The thrill of victory – and the agony of defeat – played out on an international stage is the best way I know to recognize our commonality. We are, after all, passengers on a single lonely planet amid billions of galaxies.

poor soul exceeding the speed limit. The goal is simply driving through that area without getting stopped. Watch out for those blue and red lights! Competition No. 6: Campground Drumming. In this competition, campers will be challenged to find a spot in a state park that doesn’t have drummers banging their bongos through the night. Every time I have gone camping in Oregon, others were working as hard as they could to make as much noise as they could. Silence, please!

To keep that spirit alive, I propose a new type of Olympics. The main difference: only Oregonians can compete in these games because only we can understand them. Welcome to the Oregon Olympics!

experience putting on riots as Portlandians. By most counts, they had more than 100 riots in a row last year. That’s impressive. Somewhat less impressive is what they accomplished, other than making that city’s mayor and the governor look inept and making parts of the city look like a war zone.

Competition No.1: the Bottle Jam. Each competitor – called a jammer – gets a bag full of empty beer and soda cans and bottles. Whoever jams them into the recycling machine fastest wins. If the machine fills up, the jammer automatically loses. Competition No. 2: the Airport Crawl. Every Oregonian knows what it’s like to try make a flight at the Portland Airport but gets caught in a traffic jam on I-5 or I-205. But there’s a twist. In this race, the winner is the competitor who can drive from my house to the airport the slowest. A brother-in-law holds the current record for the 71-mile one-way trip – 2.5 hours. That’s an average of 28 mph. Top that!

Competition No. 4: Traversing the Wilsonville Vortex. In this challenge, competitors try to get through Wilsonville on I-5 without slowing down. To win, competitors must drive past that mystical town at the posted speed limit. Good luck! Competition No. 5: the Highway 22 Gauntlet. Highway 22 east of Salem is a well-known speed trap. State troopers, Marion County deputies and random local police officers park on the side of the road to catch any

Competition No. 3: Best Riot. No one has as much




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So there you have it – the Oregon Olympics. I’m sure we all can come up with our own competitions to add to the list. And the winners get to sing Oregon’s state song, “Oregon, My Oregon,” both the old and the new versions. Carl Sampson has lived in Stayton 22 years. He is a freelance editor and writer.

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Competition No. 7: Avoiding Portland. The final challenge is staying the heck out of Portland. Oregon’s largest city lost its charm long ago. Winners get points for finding new ways to stay away from Portland. For example, I’ve quit flying out of Portland’s airport. Hint: try the Eugene airport. It’s about the same distance and it takes far less time to get there. (See Competition No. 2.)


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Our Town South: Sept. 1, 2021  

Community news serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama.

Our Town South: Sept. 1, 2021  

Community news serving Stayton, Sublimity, Aumsville, Lyons & Mehama.

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