News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

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  • University students spend spring break with Sisters Habitat

    Seven students from Gonzaga University out of Spokane, Washington spent their spring break in Sisters volunteering for Sisters Habitat for Humanity. Their visit was part of a nation-wide alternative spring break program called Collegiate Challenge. Habitat’s experienced construction crew took most of the first day to familiarize the students with safety protocols and introduced them to power tools and construction techniques. Then the all-women team built new roofs on s... Full story

  • Habitat meets with legislators

    More than 50 Habitat for Humanity advocates met with Oregon legislators on March 8 to advocate for policies that increase the supply of needed housing and promote broader access to safe, decent, and affordable homes. Sisters Habitat Executive Director Sharlene Weed met with Representative Helfrich and Senators Bonham and Knopp. “It was fun to spend the day at the Capitol sharing the great work that is happening in our community and talking about the importance of h... Full story

  • A long and winding road for Sisters musician

    In 2019, Slater Smith sat down with three very close friends to deliver some big news: He was planning to move to New Zealand. He wasn’t sure what their reactions would be. After all, they’d been performing music as a group for almost a decade. He was leaving because he was in love, and he and his partner were ready to go back to her home country. He explained that it was also for the adventure, that he would miss Portland, and that he hoped to visit often. And then came the r... Full story

  • Bluegrass bands celebrate St. Paddy’s

    The Belfry will host two bluegrass bands in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17. The Muddy Souls of Eugene will kick off the evening at 7 p.m. with their unique and energetic brand of progressive jamgrass. Local favorites, Skillethead, will then take the stage. They offer a more traditional approach to bluegrass with a hard-driving and danceable repertoire. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $17 at Full story

  • Sisters High School Jazz Choir to perform

    In late April of this year, the Sisters High School Jazz Choir will sing at one of the most magical places on the planet: Disneyland. This is a special opportunity available to the choir through a lot of hard work and fundraising. While visiting the park, students will get a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the “behind the scenes” at Disneyland. Performances throughout the park and at a local hotel are also planned. An important source of the funds raised comes from the ann... Full story

  • Sisters Folk Festival will host summer creativity camps

    Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) will host seven summer creativity camps for middle- and high-school-aged students at Sisters Art Works in July and August. The organization partnered with regional teaching artists to create fun-filled sessions of art, music, theater, and self-expression. Registration opens February 22 at 10 a.m. online at with “pay what you can pricing” to ensure that no child is prevented from participating due to... Full story

  • Sisters to welcome astrophotographer

    Sisters Astronomy Club’s next meeting will feature astrophotographer Bill McLaughlin on Tuesday, February 21, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be “hybrid,” with the opportunity for attendees to meet at the Sisters Park & Recreation District’s Coffield Center, 1750 McKinney Butte Rd. or on Zoom: McLaughlin has been an astrophotographer since the early 1990s, starting with strips of plastic stuff called “film.” He soon discovered that since he was lazy... Full story

  • Sisters Folk Festival hosts show

    Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) will present a special concert with Charlie Parr and Marisa Anderson at The Belfry on Sunday, March 12 at 7 p.m. Charlie Parr is known as “an incorruptible outsider,” who writes novelistic, multi-layered stories that shine a kaleidoscopic light on defiant, unseen characters thriving in the shadows all around us. Parr is supported by Marisa Anderson, referred to by The New Yorker as “one of the most distinctive guitar players of her gener... Full story

  • All-star Portland band to play The Belfry

    Reb and the Good News, a Portland-based band, will bring their danceable blend of funk, world, and soul music to The Belfry on Friday, February 10. The band includes some of Portland’s top-tier musicians, including Leon Cotter (member of the California Honey Drops) on sax and keys, Cyrus Nabipoor on trumpet, Kirk Kalbfleisch on drums, and Ross Garlow on bass. Tickets can be purchased at Doors open at 6:30 p.m.... Full story

  • Volunteers can serve Oregon Adaptive Sports

    Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) is hosting a get-together at the Coffield Center (west end of Sisters High School parking lot) on December 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS). Sisters skiers, snowboarders, and snow sports lovers will be able to talk to OAS staff and volunteers about participation in the OAS Hoodoo program this winter. OAS offers ski and snowboard lessons for people with disabilities at Hoodoo Ski Resort beginning January 12 and... Full story

  • Motorcyclists hit the trail in Sisters

    More than 30 off-road motorcycle riders from around Sisters took part in an inaugural group trail ride last month. As the annual Sisters Folk Festival drew celebrating crowds into town, a widely diverse gathering of street-legal, off-highway-capable motorcycles ranging from 250cc trail bikes to 540-pound Harley Davidson adventure machines, took part in the fun of exploring local trails, taking in stunning views of Broken Top, and developed and tested their riding skills. Thoug... Full story

  • Fireside Evening transports Sisters

    The audience at the Three Sisters Historical Society’s (TSHS) October 18 Fireside Story Evening enjoyed a presentation by historian and author Steve Lent on the history of early transportation in Central Oregon. As historian at the Bowman Museum in Prineville for 20 years, he has developed a treasure trove of vintage local photos of freight haulers, stagecoaches, carriages, early bridges, some very rough roads, toll gates, and the first autos, among others that were p... Full story

  • Museum exhibit celebrates Black rodeo

    Black cowboys have long been an integral part of the American West. Thousands of Black cowboys, for instance, rode in the Western cattle drives of the 1860s. Their stories are largely untold in popular narratives, but modern-day Black rodeos keep their traditions alive. A new, original High Desert Museum exhibit celebrates this thriving culture. In the Arena: Photographs from America’s Only Touring Black Rodeo opens at the Museum on Saturday, November 19. Through the lens o... Full story

  • Outlaws win cross-country meet

    The Outlaws boys cross-country team took full advantage of competing at the home course on the school fields and forests behind the high school, on the way to winning the team title in the third annual Clash in the Cascades Invitational on Thursday, October 13. The 15-team meet included schools from all over Central Oregon, and some from the Willamette Valley. All of the Outlaws’ scorers placed within the top 22, giving the team a 14-point margin over runner-up 5A Crook County... Full story

  • SFF presents Jake Blount at The Belfry

    Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) presents a special concert with Jake Blount at the Belfry on Thursday, November 10. A powerfully gifted musician and a scholar of Black American music, Jake Blount speaks passionately about the African roots of the banjo and the subtle, yet profound ways African Americans have shaped and defined the amorphous categories of roots music and Americana. On stage, each song he and his band play is chosen for a reason — because it highlights... Full story

  • Outlaws picking up the pace

    The Outlaws cross-country teams had a busy week with two meets within four days against many of the best 3A and 4A teams in the state. Wednesday, the teams traveled to Silver Falls State Park for the Oktoberfest Invitational, which featured some of the fastest individuals of the young season. Ella Bartlett, along with two Valley Catholic and one East Linn Christian runners, broke away from the rest of the field of 82 runners, and battled one another throughout the course. Jaya... Full story

  • Sisters Habitat honors volunteers

    Sisters Habitat for Humanity honored their hardworking volunteers at the 14th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue in Village Green Park on Wednesday, August 17. Sisters Habitat boasts nearly 200 volunteers, who serve in many capacities from board and committee members to homebuilders and Thrift and ReStore workers. Collectively in the past year, Sisters Habitat volunteers served over 24,500 hours —averaging 471 hours per week. Presidential Volunteer Service Awards... Full story

  • Sisters salutes...

    - The 14U Outlaw Baseball Club team had a successful 2022 season, going 13-17-1. Grant Roberson, Jace Owens, Dominic Pulver, Hunter Bronson, Isaac Dunn, Cooper Pronold, Nate Palmer, Ethan Eby, Reese Moore, Trent Gordon, Kieren Labhart, Emmit Buller, and Zach Stewart were coached by Jeremy Buller and Casey Moore, and managed by Erik Pronold. The Outlaws had tournaments in Klamath Falls, Hillsboro, Newport, Happy Valley, La Pine and Kennewick, Washington. The Outlaws started the... Full story

  • Connecting the outdoors and storytelling on an international stage

    Sydney Wilkins has been exploring the Central Oregon outdoors since moving here with her family when she was 8 years old. As a kid, Wilkins attended Black Butte School in Camp Sherman before transferring to Sisters School District in middle school. Through her schooling experience and on adventures with her family, Wilkins found her passion for being in the outdoors. “I am that walking Central Oregon stereotype, honestly,” she said. “I love the outdoors, and my parents reall... Full story

  • Sisters dancers hold spring performance

    The Sisters Dance Academy held their 13th Annual Spring Dance Performance on Saturday, June 18 at Sisters High School. This year the dance studio’s theme was “Movies, Musicals, and Masterpieces” and brought some iconic pieces to the stage, including “Grease,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Willy Wonka,” and “Cars,” to name a few. There were approximately 165 dancers who performed, ranging in ages three to adult, performing in a variet... Full story

  • Finding inspiration in art

    With a summer breeze rustling through the cottonwoods and the song of Whychus Creek singing in the background, a group of Sisters adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities gathered around a table with a local art teacher, twisting white T-shirts and squeezing a rainbow of colors out of bottles onto their tie-dyeing works. The project throughout the afternoon last Thursday with Sisters Middle School art teacher Judy Fuentes, was one of the Days of Inspiration for... Full story

  • Folk Festival disperses $9,000 to schools

    Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) delivered checks totalling $9,000 to Sisters School District as part of their efforts to support music and arts programming in the community. A check for $4,000 was given to the Sisters GRO scholarship fund to be disbursed among seven students; $3,000 went toward the Sisters High School (SHS) Americana Luthier program; and $1,000 was given to the SHS visual arts program and Sisters Middle School band and choir program, respectively. The SFF... Full story

  • Rescuers airlift hiker off South Sister

    Search and Rescue personnel came to the aid of a 23-year-old man from Ithaca, New York, on Saturday, after he took a fall on South Sister. Deputy Donny Patterson, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office assistant search and rescue coordinator, reported that Deschutes County 911 received a call at about 6:54 p.m. on June 18, from a hiker who had taken a fall and injured himself on the north side of the South Sister. The climber had reportedly triggered a small avalanche, which c... Full story

  • Sisters salutes...

    • Sisters Habitat for Humanity wrote: Thank you to the following companies and individuals who helped make Sisters Habitat for Humanity’s “Rock-the-Block” event such a big success! In one day, three homes were painted, a deck rebuilt, and landscaping cleared and replanted: Sisters Habitat Build Crew volunteers; Kristi Amsberry; Marybeth Beall; Barbara Reynolds-Mayo; St. Charles Health System volunteers; Heart of Oregon – YouthBuild; Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Distr... Full story

  • Golden eagle is growing up

    Stormy, the newest golden eaglet to be raised in the nest on Whychus Creek, will leave the nest sometime soon. Parents Petra and Rocky have cared for Stormy since the eaglet’s hatching during the stormy weather in early April. The eaglet is strong and nearly ready to fledge, according to Jim Hammond, who monitors the canyon’s eagle cam. Interested folks can view live video here:, and video clips and screen shots are fre... Full story

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