Thank You!

The members of the Silverton Grange would like to extend a warm thank you to all those folks who helped make our Fifty Mile Breakfast a success, either by attending, buying a raffle ticket or by providing materials for us to serve.

We would especially like to thank our sponsors, whose donations made the breakfast and raffle basket possible. Between the breakfast itself and the Raffle Basket, we are now well on our way to getting our community kitchen upgrade plans. And Mayor Rasmussen’s last-minute $200.00 donation from the Mayor’s Ball was likewise greatly appreciated!

Sherry Pollock
President Silverton Grange

Grange to Host Candidates Forum

Marion County, OregonAs the first forum of the 2010 Election Season, The Silverton Grange is pleased to host a Candidates Forum featuring the two contenders for one of the Marion County Commissioner seats.  Incumbent Republican Commissioner Patti Milne and Democratic challenger Jason Freilinger will both be on hand to introduce themselves, their positions on the future of Marion County, and will take questions from the audience.

Since this is the primary election, and both Candidates are running unopposed. They will square off with one another next November during the general election. Come with your questions! Refreshments provided! All are welcome!

Doors open at 6:00 – Candidates Speak at 7:00.

The Silverton Grange Hall is located at 201 Division St., Silverton. From Main & Water, head south 1.7 miles on Water St. towards the Falls, and turn left on Division St. Web.

Grange to Host Salem Chicken Video

Urban HenOn Sunday, April 4, 2010, for our Monthly meeting, the Silverton Grange will host a showing of “The Chicken Revolution” the award-winning documentary, high-lighting the on-going “Urban Hen” debate in Salem.

We will be starting at 4:00, an hour early to accommodate the video. We plan to enjoy our usual monthly potluck dinner while watching the video. From the Website:

“This 75-minute film chronicles our efforts to join the Urban Chicken Movement in Salem, Oregon. There’s a lot to learn from our experiences. You will see a variety of backyard coops, including some featured in the Portland coop tour. Visit chicken-friendly cities throughout Oregon and Washington and hear what chicken-keepers have to say, as well as ‘outlaws’ in the Chicken Underground.”

All are welcome!

Date: April 4, 2010
Time: Doors open 4:00 / DVD starts shortly after with Potluck Dinner
Regular Business Meeting to Follow DVD

Location: Silverton Grange No. 748, 201 Division Street, Silverton
(From Main & Water, head south towards the Falls 1.7 miles on Water St., then turn left on Division St.)

Gus Frederick; Lecturer
Silverton Grange No.748

Urban Hens: Much to Cluck About

Urban HensA very important part of the Silverton Grange’s mission, is the promotion not only of local agriculture, but also local sustainability. Most may think that we mean these terms to apply to outside the City Limits, in what would traditionally be viewed as “agricultural” land. However, town and city folk have always had a tradition of some sort of personal “agricultural,” endeavor; whether a small garden plot in the back yard, or a couple of hens to provide fresh eggs.

Over the years, our society has seen an increase of available commodities, often shipped in from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This centralized approach to supplying our day to day substance has altered how we view our food and where it comes from. Post war America encouraged this, while at the same time discouraging many of the traditional approaches that rural and small town people had used to supplement their nutritional intake with local food. From the 1950s on, we saw many municipal codes change, that while often well-meaning, had the effect of stifling local sustainable practices.

We, as a Grange have consciously sought to reverse this unhealthy trend. We not only see it as a good idea to promote local nutritional sustainability, but also as essential for our future survival as a community and as a country.

So when we read the front page story in the February 24 edition of the Silverton Appeal-Tribune, about the Council voting on the “Chicken Issue,” Our interest was piqued. Several of our Grange members, including myself, attended the March 1 City Council Meeting to present facts in support of this proposal. I managed to get in and grab a seat and agenda from the table.

The place was packed full of supporters of the Silverton Skate Park. In fact, some of our members were turned away due to the large numbers. No where on the agenda was the “chicken” vote mentioned. At the opening portion of the meeting, when the Mayor asked for a show of hands for various issues, and he read through the agenda items, and again, “chickens” were never mentioned. In the chaos, we assumed that the chicken issue, for what ever reason, would not be addressed that evening, so we left.

Imagine our shock and surprise when opening the paper the following week to read that yes, it was voted on and was voted down. We of course, learned too late that the “chicken Issue” promoted with such fanfare in the paper was in fact a small portion of Silverton Development Code Revision. Our bad for not researching the issue further. And the fact that the newspaper article likewise failed to mention the SDC, but rather referred to a “Chicken Ordinance,” also contributed to the confusion. But many of us thought it odd that at least some mention was not given in either the agenda or during opening comments.

C.I.T.Y Logo

Chickens In The Yard

After viewing the award-winning documentary video “Chicken Revolution” about the same issue in Salem, I was struck by the outright animosity shown by the Mayor and several Salem Councilors, towards this group of concerned citizens. They simply wanted to be within the law, and have three hens, (no roosters).

The Salem Council shot back time and again with more hoops to jump through, more meetings, more proposals, more delays.The irony in the Salem situation, as shown in testimony from the Salem chicken supporters, is that this issue has been addressed by many towns and cities, including Eugene, Corvallis, Portland and even Lake Oswego. Some hens allowed. No roosters. It is in fact, an easily addressed issue, that even the Salem City staff supported.

What did Salem’s Council accomplish during this time? In almost two years of bureaucratic run-arounds, they managed mainly one thing: It soured a large group of people towards participatory democracy in general, and City Government in particular. I would hope that our Council would be different. More along the lines of other, more level-headed communities that have adopted logical chicken ordinances.

The bottom line is that several of us were there on March 1 to make a case for this to the Council. We apparently were swept away by the “Skater’s Waltz.” We feel that this issue should be revisited, and we would hereby request the opportunity to make our presentation to the Council on the matter of “urban hens,” and that the Council reconsider the issue with facts that we were and remain ready to present. And this time, address it specifically, so that we all know what is happening. Instead of hiding behind obscure reversionary development code ordinance titles.

Gus Frederick; Lecturer
Silverton Grange No. 748

Lasagna in the Rain

Take a helping of manure, a bit of straw, a layer of compost, some coconut coir fibers, a bunch of leaves and grass clippings, and sprinkle on some coffee grounds…then repeat! On October 17, eight hardy Silverton Grange members came together for our first “work and learn” event. With the driving rain cheering us on, we built a total of 11 raised beds using the Lasagna Gardening method outlined in Patricia Lanza’s book. Our community garden is taking shape! We even had our first harvest: some October raspberries from our bush from local One Green World Nursery. The Silverton Grange is working to develop a community garden that will educate and engage future urban gardeners from our community and reward them with the “fruits” of their labor! For more information about the garden, e-mail April at alocke@me.com.

Movie Night – Our Daily Bread

June 27, 7:00 at the Silverton Grange

Silverton Grange - Movie Night - June

The Silverton Grange is proud to host a showing of “Our Daily Bread,” a 1934 film, directed by silent film veteran King Vidor who worked into the late 1950s, it is the story of unemployed men taking over a Midwest farm and running it like a commune. Considering his penchant for pulp material like “Stella Dallas” and “Ruby Gentry,” it is a testament to the depth of the 1930s radicalization that he decided to write and direct “Our Daily Bread.” It is no accident that United Artists produced the film. This company was founded by Charlie Chaplin and run as a cooperative by leading directors and actors who sought an outlet for non-commercial works like “Our Daily Bread.”

John and MaryThe two main characters are a young married couple John and Mary Sims (played by Tom Keene and Karen Morley), who are months behind on their rent. John is unemployed and can’t even get an interview. Their luck takes a turn for the better after Mary’s well-off uncle turns an abandoned farm over to them. Whatever they lack in farming experience, they hope to make up for with sheer enthusiasm.

A few days after arriving at the farm, they begin to realize how little they know about farming. But once again, fortune smiles on them in the form of a Swedish farmer and his wife who are fixing a flat just beyond their gate. When John learns that the two have just lost their Minnesota farm, he invites them to come live with them on the farm. In exchange for their expertise, they can stay there for free.

Mary and the SwedeThe goodhearted Swede has to chuckle at John’s inexperience. He catches him in the act of discarding some “weeds” that turn out to be carrots. Before long, the two couples begin to make some real headway on the farm and their hopes are raised. This gives John a brainstorm. He will put up a string of signs outside the farm, like the old Burma Shave ads, that call for jobless skilled tradesmen to join them. In exchange for their labor, they will get a place to live and an opportunity to share in the sales proceeds from the harvested crops.

FarmersEventually, their ranks grow to include both skilled and unskilled. John doesn’t have the heart to turn anybody away, including a pants presser named Cohen, an undertaker and a professor. It also includes a bank robber named Louie Fuente, who despite his gruff exterior believes totally in the commune. So much so in fact that he decides to turn himself into the law just so that the $500 reward will go to his co-workers.

John and SallyNot everybody’s motives are so pure. They are soon joined by Sally (Barbara Pepper), a sexy blonde who just regards the farm as a temporary place to crash until something better turns up. She spends much of her time in her room listening to jazz, a sure sign that she is up to no good! The TCM website reports that Sally was included just to sell tickets, a sign that even United Artists had to make compromises.

JohnThe climax of the film revolves around the effort of the communal farmers to dig a three mile long irrigation ditch to the farm in a race against time. A severe drought threatens to destroy their corn crop and make them destitute. The sight of the men working together with picks and shovels is quintessential 1930s New Deal iconography. It is also a reminder of how close the USA was to Stalin’s Russia in cultural terms. Notwithstanding King Vidor’s past, he seems to have absorbed the imagery of Soviet poster art into his bloodstream.

It should be mentioned that at least one member of Vidor’s cast had Communist sympathies. Karen Morley, who played Mary Sims, was “named” by actor Sterling Hayden as a communist and blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. She never made another film.

Chaplin’s financing of “Our Daily Bread” was later used against him when he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, (he decided to leave the US rather than testify). Vidor’s film won Moscow’s Lenin Film Festival prize. Vidor himself eventually became a conservative.

There is something truly inspiring about men and women working together to produce for their common good. It is one of the great contradictions of American society that with every increase in abundance since the 1930s, there has been a concomitant decrease in the potential for group solidarity. Workers used to think in terms of their collective power. Now they see themselves more as individual actors looking for ways to benefit themselves and their family. Although nobody can predict when this will change, we can be sure that as economic insecurity grows working men and women will once again be forced to look to each other for mutual aid.

From Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Meet Your Candidates for Oregon State Senator and US Congress

Silverton Grange Lecture series presents:

Meet your candidates for Oregon State Senator and US Congress

Thursday, May 1, 6:30pm to 8pm

Democrat and Republican candidates for each of these positions will introduce themselves and their platforms. Questions and answers to follow.

This is a great opportunity to develop an informed choice about who will serve your community next.

Oregon Senate District 9

Democrat

  • Steven Frank
  • Bob McDonald

Republican

  • Sarah Arcune
  • Herman Joseph Baurer
  • Fred Girod

US Congress District 5

Democrat

  • Kurt Schrader
  • Andrew Foster
  • Steve Marks
  • Nancy Moran
  • Richard Nathe

Republican

  • Mike Erickson
  • Kevin Mannix
  • Richard (RJ) Wilson

Admission: FREE

Located at the Silverton Grange, 201 Division St., Silverton (see Google Map)

Directions: From Main & Water, head south towards the Falls 1.7 miles on Water St., then turn left on Division St.

Download the printable flyer here.