Tag Archives: Jill Hult

Vernonia’s Voice Endorses Mitchell, Hult and Heimuller

On Thursday, October16 Vernonia’s Voice hosted a political forum called “Meet the Candidates.”  We invited candidates for Vernonia Mayor, Vernonia City Council, Columbia County Commissioner, and Circuit Court Judge.  The candidates answered a series of questions allowing audience members a chance to see some of the differences between them.

In the past, Vernonia’s Voice has not made endorsements of political candidates.  But there are several races on the ballot this year that are just too important.

Vernonia’s Voice is pleased to announce our endorsement of Josette Mitchell for Vernonia Mayor, Jill Hult for Vernonia City Council and Henry Heimuller for Columbia County Commissioner.

The following is recap of the “Meet the Candidates” event and our reasons for endorsing these candidates.


Vernonia Mayor

Candidates:  Josette Mitchell, Sally Harrison

Josette Mitchell has served as Vernonia Mayor for the last four years.  Her opponent, Sally Harrison was the previous Mayor; Mitchell defeated Harrison in the 2010 election and than ran unopposed in 2012.

In the time Mitchell has been Mayor she has been extremely active and involved in the day-to-day operations at City Hall.  She has been extremely busy, acting as the interim City Administrator for nine months as well as Mayor this past year.  She has shown the ability to dig in and learn about and deal with the issues facing the City.  As she stated during the forum, she has been involved in moving numerous projects forward and wants the opportunity to complete the work she started as mayor.  She deserves her chance.

Mitchell is a doer.  She has diligently tackled several complicated issues head-on and worked to find solutions.  I believe she has learned that government work can be painstakingly slow, but she has shown  she has the determination and grit and to stick with it and deal with the issues.   Whether or not you’ve agreed with her decisions or methods,  you certainly can’t accuse her of standing pat, giving up,  or letting things slide.  Whether it’s been helping a citizen deal with a drainage issue, or dealing with the conflict between the Ridge Riders and the City, or complaints about maintenance at the cemetery, or making sure the Spencer Park fields were built correctly, Mitchell has jumped in, looked for solutions and followed through.   Read More

Community… A Continued Series Celebrating the Circle of Life with Salmon Festival

Fall, where leaves are brilliant in color and rivers change to swift cold, people and animals begin to prepare for shelter from the impending winter’s cold. For Salmon this is a time to return home and begin the precious task of spawning. We are fortunate here to be able to see this miraculous journey up close and personal. And in the spirit of life’s cycle we choose appropriately to celebrate. It is all thanks to a small group of people that bring us together to do so. Salmon, pumpkins, scarecrows, food, art, and of course the fishing pond – what could be a better way to welcome fall? Okay, maybe a clear, crisp day instead of rain to celebrate the day, but whether the weather cooperates with our wishes or not, life carries on and we partake.

In this year long series of community events that focused on our community assets, volunteerism, and our ability to attract visitors, the Salmon Festival is my final focus. I would like to briefly recap that this series covered: The Vernonia Friendship Jamboree and Logging Show, The Spirit of Christmas & the Christmas Community Bazaar, The Fourth of July Great American Bash, Vernonia Community-Wide Sale, and St. Mary’s Quilt Fair. All of these events are organized by volunteers and have a lot to offer to us and our visitors. I encourage you to support them in whatever way you can from year to year. Community is the reason they exist.  Read More

Community… A Continued Series St. Mary’s Quilt Fair: The Warmth of Fall for 43 years!

St.Mary'sQuiltFairAs we begin to feel summer’s end with the cooler air, we naturally look for ways to feel the warmth of the sun while chimneys slowing begin to perk. We may lament that we are not ready for the cold but then we find a place that is ready to help us transition to the new season with warm quilts, homemade soups and desserts, warm drinks, many gifts to warm the soul or home, and most importantly the warmth of friendship and community that extends out to anyone who wants to come.

St. Mary’s Quilt fair is a long standing event in Vernonia that showcases many of the residents’ talent for all kinds of crafts such as scarfs, gloves, purses, decorations, jewelry, cookbooks, baked goods, blankets, and much more. Of course the main attraction is the quilts. And there are so many beautiful quilts-a whole room full-it is hard to decide which to buy! There are also vintage quilts and quilts that are solely for your admiration naturally because they are truly a work of art.

I could go on thinking of vivid descriptions of fall and items at the quilt fair, alas this continued series of community events is also about what makes these wonderful offerings possible. We know it takes commitment, hard work, volunteers, and of course an audience,  but who does it and how do they do it?

I recently asked Betty Schmidlin, chairperson for the event, to tell me a little more about how it all comes together.

Schmidlin told me that “…the quilt fair has been happening for 43 years in Vernonia and that St. Mary’s ladies have been quilting for years though many of the original people have either passed on or moved away…” but that hasn’t seemed to stop the event from attracting people who carry on the tradition. Thank goodness for us!

The event supports 1/3 of St. Mary’s annual revenue and their costs vary from year to year; St. Mary’s budgets for the expenses from their general fund. Betty said that they work with a skeleton crew and depend mainly on quilt and craft consignments. She explained that several people take on various aspects of the event including: Willamae Murray and Pat Kleinman who are in charge of quilts and crafts, respectively; Terry Lindauer who organizes the recipes and cooks the soup for lunches; and Maria Lemay who works hard to advertise our event. The group starts planning for the event in early spring and attracts an amazing 30 volunteers plus school children who help bus tables and assist the elderly at lunch.

I asked Schmidlin what challenges they have faced with the event. She explained that the economic downturn hit them hard but is hopeful that people feel they now have the resources to purchase these works of art.

Schmidlin also wanted to mention that they always have quilts on display that are not for sale.  “This year we have several of Louise Smejkal’s hand quilted ones and one of Esther Hunteman’s quilts on show.  Both women were among those who initially started our annual quilt fair.”

Currently they do not need more volunteers but if you have an interest in quilting or craft making, you can join them on Tuesdays at the Church hall.

Please join St. Mary’s as they offer us a beautiful array of art in the form of warm quilts, crafts, food, and merriment. You may even win an amazing Star of Bethlehem quilt by purchasing raffle tickets at $1 each or 6 for $5.

The event runs from September 19 – 21, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM with lunch served at 11:00 AM. Admission to the event is $1.


The Inkwell-March 2013

As the month of March arrives, poets everywhere and in every age have begun their ancient hymns to spring.  Some of the oldest poems we have surviving in the English language are, not surprisingly, poems celebrating the hope intimated in the coming of spring.  Our submission this month carries on this venerable tradition in a fresh and vibrant way.  “Spring” by Jill Hult uses a barrage of images and metaphors to explore the kaleidoscope of life, memories, and experiences that are for her the sound and rhythm of spring’s insistent call to her senses.  Hult uses the refrain “Spring is beckoning” to punctuate series of tight, well-wrought vignettes of spring: the warmth of sunshine and the cool tickle of grass, the coming spring flowers, bees, and summer fruit, the falling rain and subsequent memories of childhood mudpies, the mighty oak bridging the decades of springs past and future, and finally the ebb and flow of streams, spring breezes, and the very breathing of life itself.  Hult’s masterful use of repetition, imagery, and the association of metaphors creates the expectant feeling that is at the very heart of the spring poem and the expresses the lively hope for new life that is the very heart of what it is to be human. Read More