News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Articles written by Erin Borla

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  • Urban and rural are interdependent

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    On February 26, The New York Times published a column by Professor Paul Krugman titled “The Mystery of White Rural Rage.” While the professor’s opinion perpetuated stereotypes and tropes about many communities across America, I can imagine it may speak to people looking outside of their circle for someone to blame for policies they don’t care for, or the divides seen in our country. With Prof. Krugman’s platform he has the opportunity; and as a professor, he has the obligation; to encourage others to think critically about th... Full story

  • 'Journey's Flight' was educational

    Erin Borla|Updated Sep 19, 2017

    Sisters Middle School students can be proud of what they have accomplished: raising and releasing a record-setting Western monarch butterfly, creating a monarch waystation to help the dwindling monarch population - and now a published book. "Journey's Flight - One Western Monarch's Record-Setting Migration" went on sale to the public through Paulina Springs Books in Sisters and last Friday. The book project, a collaboration between Susie Werts' reading class and... Full story

  • Sisters craftsmen build solar system masterpieces

    Erin Borla|Updated Aug 15, 2017

    For the past seven months Ed Beacham and his long-time friend Gary Lovegren have been steadily working on a project to commemorate the upcoming solar eclipse. Beacham, using his skills as a master clockmaker, worked alongside his friend of over 35 years as the two developed their own orreries. These complex structures, first produced in 1704, are mechanical models of the solar system used to illustrate or predict the motions of the planets and moons. Each serves as a complex... Full story

  • Sisters resident competes in Special Olympics

    Erin Borla|Updated Aug 8, 2017

    Local resident Lizzie Affonso celebrated a great achievement last month by attending the Special Olympics State Games to play golf. Lizzie, 33, living with Down syndrome, grew up in Stockton, California, and moved to Bend in 1995 with her mom, Sandy. In 2001, they both moved to Sisters where Lizzie graduated from Sisters High School in 2003. In the past she participated in the Special Olympics in bowling and basketball. This year, Lizzie participated in the Skills Division of... Full story

  • Painted rocks project rolls out in Sisters

    Erin Borla|Updated Aug 8, 2017

    Calling artists and creative types of all ages - Sisters Rocks! The Nugget Newspaper is inviting the public to create hand-painted rocks to hide in all sorts of fun places throughout Sisters Country. Visitors and locals alike are invited to create their own rocks and hunt for other hidden treasures. Once rocks are found, snap a picture and post it on the Sisters Rocks Facebook page, then re-hide the rock. The Nugget Newspaper, who is behind the campaign, worked to create a... Full story

  • Foundation provides outdoor school opportunities in Sisters

    Erin Borla|Updated Jun 13, 2017

    When Camp Tamarack originally opened its doors in 1935 it was designed as a camp for girls to learn strong leadership and outdoor skills. Now today, 82 years later, it has a new life with similar ideals. Students, both boys and girls, aged 8-13 from all across Central Oregon are participating in Outdoor School and summer camps. That new life didn't come easy. Five years ago, Camp Tamarack was essentially defunct. Through loss, the life of Camp Tamarack has begun again. Seven y... Full story

  • Youth show the flag at cemetery

    Erin Borla|Updated May 30, 2017

    Heart of Oregon Youth Build students, volunteers and staff joined representatives from local veterans organizations in a cemetery cleanup and flag placement ceremony at Camp Polk Cemetery on Wednesday, May 24, in honor of Memorial Day. Students arrived on site and ready to get to work at 9 a.m. Split into teams, each student set out to find one of the 39 veterans' gravesites located at the historic cemetery. Their mission was to weed, rake, and do general cleanup on their... Full story

  • Long-time Sisters educator retiring

    Erin Borla|Updated May 23, 2017

    After 31 years teaching in the Sisters School District, Norma Pledger is retiring. Pledger, born in Prineville, was hired in 1986 by long-time Sisters Elementary School Principal Earl Armbruster after teaching for two years in Culver. Through her career Pledger has taught 6th, 5th, 2nd, grade 4/5 blends and most recently 5th grade. Pledger has many positive memories of her time in Sisters. "Working with people like Diane Jacobsen and Lori Small - we were a great team," she... Full story

  • Poet visit a hit with Sisters students

    Erin Borla|Updated May 2, 2017

    Sisters' elementary and middle school students heard former Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt speak last week. Nesbitt, brought to Sisters by a grant through the Sisters-based Roundhouse Foundation, spoke at four assemblies designed for different age groups this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Nesbitt, a published author for the last 15 years, who now lives in Spokane, Washington, travels extensively throughout the United States and even internationally discussing poetry and... Full story

  • Café has established itself in Sisters

    Erin Borla|Updated Apr 25, 2017

    La Magie celebrated the first anniversary of their Sisters location on April 1. The French-inspired café located on the corner of Hood Avenue and Cedar Street in downtown Sisters, has plenty of options for breakfast and lunch served all day. "We knew Sisters would be a good place for our second restaurant," Clarissa Parker, restaurant manager, said of La Magie's expansion from their Bend store last spring. "It's a small town. We're already looking forward to the rodeo." I... Full story

  • New adult foster care home opens

    Erin Borla|Updated Apr 25, 2017

    Sisters' new adult foster care home, Mac's Country Haven, is open on Rope Street and taking new residents. Sarah Spurlock, a third generation caregiver and her husband, James, along with their six children, moved to Redmond from Harney County last year with the hope to someday own their own care home. Spurlock took a job in Sisters and quickly found the home they are now running. In January, the family moved from Redmond to Sisters. She lives at the care home, and the family... Full story

  • A greenhouse rises from beneath the snow

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 28, 2017

    In 2014, a kind of tragedy struck at Sisters Middle School when the newly refurbished greenhouse was crushed under a snowstorm. David Hiller of the Sisters Science Club - who had spent time, energy and money restoring the 2002 structure originally built by the Forest Service - worked with the Sisters School District personnel to discuss rebuilding. Those discussions led to a new greenhouse in a new location. "After discussion with District staff we determined it wasn't... Full story

  • Developing young leaders in Sisters

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 28, 2017

    Developing leaders in young students is a theme at both Sisters Elementary School and Sisters Middle School. Both schools have leadership programs designed for the older students within their buildings. It's Becky Aylor's fifth year teaching leadership at Sisters Middle School for 15 7th- and 8th-graders every trimester. "The students don't have to be a straight-A student," said Aylor. "It's more about their character. In fact, sometimes the kids that are most successful in leadership don't fit into the academic classroom... Full story

  • Kiwanis Food Bank supports those in need

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 21, 2017

    Some 167 families utilized the Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank throughout the month of January. Oftentimes donations can slow during the months after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. The need for food donations is still there. The community of Sisters always steps up to help and donate food as well as volunteer hours. For the second year in a row Sisters Elementary School students are hosting their Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive during the month of March for Sisters... Full story

  • Sisters students learn about 'Wild Weather'

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 21, 2017

    Sisters Elementary School students got a special visit from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. Thanks to a grant from the Sisters-based Roundhouse Foundation, Chuck Barnes, an outreach coordinator for OMSI, spent Tuesday afternoon in an assembly talking about "Wild Weather" with all of the students. Barnes immediately captured the students' attention with his energetic style and outgoing personality. His presentatio... Full story

  • A thousand engage in Battle of the Books

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 14, 2017

    More than 1,000 people congregated at Sisters Middle School prepared to battle this past weekend. The Region 7 competition for Oregon Battle of the Books kicked off at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday. A team of Sisters Middle School teachers including Deb Riehle, Becky Aylor, Tiffany Tisdel and Julie Patton, have worked together for the last two years to host the regional battle here in Sisters. Oregon Battle of the Books is a statewide voluntary reading competition that is sponsored... Full story

  • Fifth-grader wins middle school Geobee

    Erin Borla|Updated Feb 14, 2017

    Fifth-grade student Teague Wessel is the Sisters Middle School Geographic Bee Champion. He recently tested for the regional championship. If Wessel is in the top 100 students in the region he will attend the State event held in Salem. The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world. Students from 10,000 schools across the United States compete in the 2017... Full story

  • SMS students 'Ping It On!'

    Erin Borla|Updated Dec 13, 2016

    Sisters Middle School students have a new afterschool activity they can participate in this winter: ping pong. Propelled by language arts teacher Becky Aylor, students in grades 5-8 are invited to "Ping It On" two days a week after school. Aylor has five 4-by-8-foot particle boards that are painted and striped along with retractable nets, ping pong balls and 30 paddles thanks to community donations and from businesses like Hoyt's Hardware. Each of the makeshift tables rest on... Full story

  • Sisters business lands Disney contract

    Erin Borla|Updated Dec 13, 2016

    Longtime Sisters resident and local artist Susanne Redfield has landed a major contract with Disney. Redfield has been in the hand-painted tile industry creating patterns and ceramics as the owner of Kibak Tile for over 30 years, and the founder of her showroom and studio, Studio Redfield, in Sisters. Born of Danish decent and raised in Southern California, Redfield grew up surrounded by mid-century Danish designers in all mediums. She originally worked with Disney in 1991 as... Full story

  • Students clean up cemetery

    Erin Borla|Updated Dec 6, 2016

    Sisters High School Interdisciplinary Experiential Education (IEE) students got to experience a piece of Sisters history last week. 23 students from the IEE program participated in a cleanup at Camp Polk Cemetery on Thursday, December 1. Students learned a little bit about the cemetery's history in the classroom earlier in the week and then took a bus to the cemetery. As they hiked in from Camp Polk Road the weather was chilly but it didn't dampen their spirits. The service... Full story

  • Students celebrate First Peoples

    Erin Borla|Updated Dec 6, 2016

    Sisters school children celebrated and learned about Oregon's First Peoples in Clay Warburton and Katie Parsons' classes last Wednesday. The 28th celebration held at Sisters Elementary School was an opportunity for students to showcase to their parents and friends what they had learned about native populations. Students gathered on the stage in the SES Commons while their parents and family friends looked on. Several had speaking parts and shared many facts about Oregon's Nati... Full story

  • Nonprofits benefit from local farm program

    Erin Borla|Updated Nov 29, 2016

    Local farm and educational asset Seed to Table has provided over 3,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to local nonprofits this year. Over the course of the past several months locally and organically grown produce has been distributed to the Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank, Sisters Westside Church Food Bank, and Sisters School District Nutrition Services. That equates to 200 families being provided with options ranging from fresh salad greens, carrots, beets, onions, kale and more on a weekly basis throughout the growing season.... Full story

  • Community feasts together on Thanksgiving

    Erin Borla|Updated Nov 29, 2016

    Close to 200 members of the Sisters community feasted together at the third Annual Sisters Community Thanksgiving Dinner last Thursday afternoon. Several volunteers, led by a dedicated group of three, worked hard beginning in September, planning and preparing a full Thanksgiving dinner. Jennifer Seher and Deri Frazee came up with the idea together three years ago. "There are elderly and disabled folks as well as others that may not have the means to sit down and have a meal... Full story

  • Families get creative at art night event

    Erin Borla|Updated Nov 15, 2016

    Sisters Elementary School students and their families got a chance to get creative at Family Art Night last Thursday. The evening, hosted by Sisters Parent Teacher Community (SPTC) and funded in part by a grant from The Roundhouse Foundation, brought well-over 200 people to the school. Fourteen different arts-and-crafts projects filled the commons and several classrooms for students to create unique items for themselves or to give as a gift this holiday season. Getting familie... Full story

  • Young families still moving to Sisters

    Erin Borla|Updated Nov 8, 2016

    Sisters is a picturesque community, nestled in the mountains and surrounded by natural beauty. The community is supportive, helpful and rural - the picture of small-town America. It's not hard to believe that people want to live here. While enrollment numbers are down from projections in the Sisters School District, families are still moving to Sisters. Many have secured work before they arrive or are bringing work with them - and some simply come with a dream in their heart. The Deschutes County Planning Department website... Full story

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