News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Articles written by Steve Kadel

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  • Through the eyes of a newcomer

    Steve Kadel|Updated Apr 4, 2023

    For many years, I considered Sisters simply a place with slow traffic to get past on the way to one trailhead or another. I drove through town several times while living in Portland and later from the opposite direction as a Klamath Falls resident. I admit, I barely noticed the town, as attractive as it's always been. My limited view changed, fortunately, when I moved to the area last summer. Yes, I was once again drawn by the magnificent landscape with all its hiking, backpacking and climbing options - my passion. But... Full story

  • Two decades of digging in Sisters

    Steve Kadel|Updated Apr 4, 2017

    Mike Scherrer has had a lot of jobs throughout his life. He's been a ski lift mechanic, a fabrication welder, a carpenter, a kayak instructor and guide, and a bridge builder. But there was always one talent he could rely on. "I have this knack for running equipment," Scherrer said. That's been the basis of his business, Cascade Bobcat Service, which marked its 20th year of operation on March 21. He received his contractor's license on that day in 1997 when the business was on... Full story

  • Sisters student to study in Europe

    Steve Kadel|Updated Mar 28, 2017

    A senior at Sisters High School will travel to England this fall to begin his college education. Devin Robillard, who has compiled a 3.5 grade-point average at SHS, is enrolling at York St. John University in York, England, to study German and business. He'll spend a year at York before moving on to Germany for his second year and back to England to finish his bachelor's degree in the third year. "I'm excited about the whole college experience," Robillard said during an... Full story

  • Sisters Bunkhouse marks first year

    Steve Kadel|Updated Mar 28, 2017

    When Kathleen and Michael Blesius moved to Sisters and bought the two-story, yellow building at 114 N. Oak St., they weren't sure what they would use it for. Would it be a whiskey bar? Maybe they would open a candy store. There were lots of options, but in the end they gutted and remodeled the former teahouse space and opened Sisters Bunkhouse in January 2016. The first year has been lots of work, but the former San Francisco Bay Area residents couldn't be happier about their... Full story

  • Teens' science project earns scholarship

    Steve Kadel|Updated Mar 21, 2017

    A private school student and an online student have teamed up to finish second in regional competition in the Central Oregon Community College Regional Science Expo in Bend. Spencer Bordonaro, who studies online through Baker Web Academy, and Redmond Proficiency Academy's David Novotny earned runner-up honors Friday, March 10, at COCC in Bend. Both boys won a $2,000 scholarship to Oregon State University for the showing. They'll compete for the state title at Portland State... Full story

  • Rainwater Café opens in Sisters

    Steve Kadel|Updated Mar 21, 2017

    Rainwater Café, which opened recently in Town Square shopping center, has a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But many customers won't get past the display case filled with tempting pies, cobblers and jumbo cookies - all made by hand by co-owner Dera Rainwater. She and her husband Gary bought the restaurant January 6 and set about turning the former Ali's Deli space into their own culinary world. They report that they've been embraced by the Sisters community.... Full story

  • Sisters school program named best in Oregon

    Steve Kadel|Updated Feb 28, 2017

    A program for young people in Sisters was named Oregon's Exceptional Program for 2017 at the February 16-17 Oregon Transition Conference in Portland. "The Sisters Transition Program is designed to prepare our students with special needs in the Sisters School District for adulthood," Sisters High School Principal Joe Hosang wrote in an email. "This includes job training, internships and employment, socialization activities, classes at COCC, exercise opportunities and much more." He noted the program, headed by Josh Nordell... Full story

  • Sisters educator retiring after 33-year teaching career

    Steve Kadel|Updated Feb 28, 2017

    It's a familiar story. Someone visits Sisters Country for recreation, the visits become more frequent, and before long they've found a way to move here. That was the scenario for Janis Quiros and her husband. They were living in Seattle and longing for a lifestyle that would allow them to ski and be involved in other outdoor activities when they realized Sisters was the answer. "This area was without a doubt the place to be," Quiros said. That was more than three decades ago.... Full story

  • School snow-day makeup announced

    Steve Kadel|Updated Feb 7, 2017

    Sisters School District officials have devised a way to make up for snow closure days without affecting the two-week spring break vacation or extending the school year in June. The Sisters School Board voted unanimously last Wednesday to reclaim Presidents Day, February 20, as a class day as well as March 3, June 1, June 15 and June 16. The District earlier decided to hold classes on January 20. Those six makeup days, plus one day originally built into the schedule, account for all seven of the closure days so far this... Full story

  • School enrollment climbs upward

    Steve Kadel|Updated Feb 7, 2017

    The latest enrollment figures show Sisters School District continuing to add students - although not yet reaching the projected level for this time of the school year. "We tend to shrink as the school year goes on, but this year we have grown," Superintendent Curtiss Scholl said. "It's a positive trend." He spoke last Wednesday during the monthly Sisters School Board meeting, where enrollment details were released. Total enrollment stood at 1,090 as of January 30. That's 19 students below the projection but up 14 from a... Full story

  • Student musicians garner honors

    Steve Kadel|Updated Feb 7, 2017

    Five members of the jazz band from Sisters Middle School and Sisters High School received awards January 28 during the Oregon Jazz Festival at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance in Eugene. Recipients of Outstanding Musicianship Awards were Lydia Bartlett, freshman, alto sax; Oscar Rhett, seventh grade, bass; Simon Rhett, eighth grade, tenor sax; Max Springer, eighth grade, trumpet; and Jack Ogan, eighth grade, trombone/tuba. "I wasn't surprised by how good they sounded because I know how far they have come... Full story

  • Schools seek to mitigate snow closures

    Steve Kadel|Updated Jan 24, 2017

    Sisters School District officials are trying to make up class time lost to snow closures this winter without reducing spring break period or extending the school year in June. Superintendent Curt Scholl has met with representatives of the certified and classified unions to discuss the situation. Everyone agrees that mitigating lost time without affecting the major vacations is desirable, he said. "We have spots on our calendar which are staff work days and students aren't there," Scholl said. One day was made up last Friday,... Full story

  • Winter hits homes and businesses hard

    Steve Kadel|Updated Jan 17, 2017

    Schools aren't alone in suffering harsh conditions this winter. Homes and businesses throughout Sisters Country have experienced broken water pipes as temperatures plunged, according to Roxanne Grier, office manager for Sweeney Plumbing. "That's all we've been doing for the past week," she said - thawing and repairing frozen pipes. "Exterior walls are usually the most vulnerable. We'll see another round of this when the part-time (residents) come back." Plumber Drew Saunders... Full story

  • Sisters merchants feel winter's chill

    Steve Kadel|Updated Jan 17, 2017

    While businesses that sell winter clothing or other cold-season necessities have done well in recent weeks, the prolonged cold snap and heavy snowfall has played havoc with other Sisters companies. Many customers simply stay home when the temperatures plunge and the streets become icy, several business owners told The Nugget this week. "It's been pretty dead the last few days," said Crystal Gomez, a waitress at Takoda's Restaurant and Lounge. "Our regulars keep us going in... Full story

  • Winter hits homes and businesses hard

    Steve Kadel|Updated Jan 13, 2017

    Schools aren't alone in suffering harsh conditions this winter. Homes and businesses throughout Sisters Country have experienced broken water pipes as temperatures plunged, according to Roxanne Grier, office manager for Sweeney Plumbing. "That's all we've been doing for the past week," she said - thawing and repairing frozen pipes. "Exterior walls are usually the most vulnerable. We'll see another round of this when the part-time (residents) come back." Plumber Drew Saunders, said Sweeney's received a hundred calls for help... Full story

  • Schools wrestle with snow-closure decision

    Steve Kadel|Updated Jan 11, 2017

    Few people pay more attention to winter weather forecasts than Sisters School District administrators, who must balance the need for student safety with the state of Oregon's requirement for classroom days each year. For Sisters Superintendent Curtiss Scholl, things begin early when a big snowfall is anticipated. "Our head of transportation is on the road at 4 a.m. and I'm on the road by 4:30," Scholl said. "We talk at 5 in the morning about whether the roads have been... Full story

  • Sisters schools had a busy 2016

    Steve Kadel|Updated Jan 3, 2017

    It was a busy year for Sisters School District in 2016, highlighted by voter passage of a bond measure to upgrade every school. That work began in the fall and is continuing. The District also got good news in the annual report card issued by the Oregon Department of Education for 2015-16. Sisters out-performed the state average in every category and every subject area that was tested. Here's a look at those issues and several others that made news during the year: State Report Card Sisters schools had strong test results... Full story

  • Enrollment shows small increase

    Steve Kadel|Updated Dec 13, 2016

    Sisters School District is coming closer to enrollment projections for the school year, although the number of students still lags behind what was anticipated. "We're climbing," Superintendent Curtiss Scholl said Wednesday, December 7 during the monthly school board meeting. "We're getting nearer to where we expected to be." Enrollment has a financial impact because the State of Oregon allocates about $7,000 per student to each public school district. The Sisters School District had a total of 1,081 students as of Friday,... Full story

  • Student pilots get a taste of flight

    Steve Kadel|Updated Dec 6, 2016

    Taylor Fendall climbed out of a four-seat airplane and walked off the Sisters Eagle Airport tarmac with a big grin on his face. "That was crazy!" the Sisters High School (SHS) freshman exclaimed to a friend. He referred to a 20-minute trip on Saturday, December 3, as part of the school's flight curriculum. It wasn't just a sightseeing excursion. Instead, Fendall got a chance to commandeer the aircraft for a period during the stint above Sisters. "I had it most of the time,"... Full story

  • SHS Key Club kicks off canned-food drive

    Steve Kadel|Updated Dec 6, 2016

    Shelves at the Sisters Food Bank will soon be laden with items for the needy, thanks to the canned-food drive initiated Monday, December 5 by the Sisters High School (SHS) Key Club. The drive continues through Monday, December 19, with competitions between classes at SHS and among the elementary, middle, and high schools. Key Club advisor Matt Bradley said it's a particularly meaningful activity because "it directly helps people in the community. We want to do what we can to... Full story

  • School district studies enrollment decline

    Steve Kadel|Updated Nov 22, 2016

    Sisters School District officials are beginning to investigate why enrollment has declined in recent years and what steps can be taken to stop the trend. Enrollment was 1,211 as of 2011-12 but has slipped to 1,066 by this year, according to figures released last month. District Superintendent Curtiss Scholl said during an interview on Thursday, November 17 that the number of students now is 1,074 - just 16 fewer than the same time last year, although further behind earlier projections. Enrollment is important because the... Full story

  • Career classes flourishing at SHS

    Steve Kadel|Updated Nov 15, 2016

    It's a good time for proponents of vocational education at Sisters High School (SHS). Earlier this fall, The Roundhouse Foundation announced it will give $250,000 over five years to fund programs ranging from welding to diesel mechanics and computer-aided design and technology. Last week, Oregon voters approved by a wide margin a ballot measure that will inject an estimated $300 million into the state's public high schools, for dropout prevention along with career and college... Full story

  • Sisters man wins national award

    Steve Kadel|Updated Nov 8, 2016

    A Sisters man is the national winner in a transportation design-and-build contest sponsored by Eastwood Co. Erik Himbert and a friend were guests of Eastwood last week during a three-day trade show in Las Vegas, where his selection as the DIY Challenge grand-prize winner was announced. Himbert's winning entry, a wheelchair that allows users to stand for periods of time, was displayed at the Eastwood booth and drew plenty of attention. "All the time I was there, people kept... Full story

  • Architecture firm chosen for bond work

    Steve Kadel|Updated Nov 8, 2016

    The Sisters School Board approved BBT Architects Inc. to lead the design of construction work authorized by passage of last spring's school bond. Board vice chair Amanda Clark and directors Don Hedrick and Greg Zadow voted in favor during the Wednesday, November 2, school board meeting. Directors Stephen King and Jeff Smith were absent. The Bend company was chosen from five applicants based on its presentation and the quality of work it has done in Central Oregon, said Sisters School Superintendent Curt Scholl. He and Clark... Full story

  • Fought, Black Butte Resort win golf awards

    Steve Kadel|Updated Nov 1, 2016

    Jeff Fought developed an affection for golf early in life during outings with relatives, including his grandmother. "It brought our family together," he said. "Those were special times, and we had real-life conversations going down the fairway. Golf was such a social element." He enjoyed early success, winning the Oregon state junior title and placing second in the Oregon state amateur tournament. But his goal of joining the PGA tour never quite came true, despite his efforts... Full story

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