Got leaves? Middle schoolers get ready to rake yards on Nov. 7

Oregon Middle School eighth grade students have been busy this month raking leaves for senior citizens around the village, and are now looking to take their talents elsewhere in the community as part of their ongoing service project.

Students will be raking leaves throughout the day on Nov. 7, starting around 10:30 a.m. and ending around 2:45 p.m. In case of bad weather, the event will be held Monday, Nov. 10. 

OMS teacher and project advisor Tim Paneitz said students are participating in the community service project to get involved and give back to the community, and also to raise funds for a field trip to the Chicago Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. 


Halloween Party photos

Kids in costume attended the fifth annual Community Halloween Party on Thursday, Oct. 23 at Oregon High School, which featured carnival games, crafts, music, an animal show and haunted hallway, below. Donations were also collected for the Oregon-Brooklyn Food Pantry.



Photo by Scott Girard. Chief David Bloom will leave the Oregon Fire/EMS Department in 2015 after spending nearly a decade in charge of the department.

David Bloom began working as a professional firefighter 48 years ago. He’s been a half-time chief for the Oregon Area Fire/EMS District for nearly 10 years and plans to retire from the district next May – on the date of his 10th anniversary here.

But he’s not going to retire entirely.

Bloom will continue as the full-time chief for the Town of Madison Fire Department, a job he told the Observer that he loves, and one from which he suspects “I may never retire.”

Bloom said he loves “the unknown and the challenge” of being a firefighter.

“You go to work everyday, and every time the alarm goes off almost always it challenges you,” he said. “Once in a while you get the routine call, but almost always it challenges you to use your skills and your education to bring every incident to a successful close.” 

Budget challenges


Broadway Cabaret is Saturday

Photo submitted. From left to right, Field Stark and James Eisele, of the musical group Field and James, will be performing at the Broadway Cabaret at First Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

First Presbyterian Church, 408 N. Bergamont Blvd., will be hosting a Broadway Cabaret night on Saturday, Oct. 25. Members of Dane County’s musical theater community will join the church’s choir, under the direction of Thomas Mielke, to perform a variety of songs from the Broadway hit “Oklahoma!” at 7 p.m.

The second annual event will feature performers from the Madison and Oregon area, including Jace and Abby Nichols and Field and James (Field Stark and James Eisele).

Jace Nichols is an Oregon High School graduate who performed in many Oregon Straw Hat Players productions. He has several years of experience in theaters in New York City and is an actor, designer and director for Madison’s Four Seasons Theater. He took on the role of Javert in the theater’s production of “Les Miserables” in 2013 and directed and starred in the Four Seasons production of “The Fantastiks” in 2013.


Yahara River Chorus to perform Saturday

The Yahara River Chorus, a local chapter of Sweet Adeline International, will perform “Which Betty Are You?” at 2 p.m.  Saturday, Oct. 25 in the Oregon High School Performing Arts Center. The chorus is based in Madison and draws women of all ages from 10 surrounding counties.

The performance will include an appearance by The Four Bettys Quartet.

Yahara River Chorus finished in fourth place at the International Competition held in Honolulu last year. It is also the reigning first place small chorus in Region 3, which covers parts of southern Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

For more information, contact Trisha Adamus at  620-4542 or email


Knitting class photos

Mary Jo Harris, of Madison, leads a class on how to knit Portuguese style Thursday, Oct. 2, at Netherwood Knoll Elementary School.


Seeking a lasting memorial

For more than 200 years, Brooklyn-area veterans have defended the freedoms of the United States. 

Now, the public has a chance to help commemorate their years of service and sacrifice. 

And also to polka in the process. 

The Brooklyn Area Veterans Memorial Committee is holding a dance fundraiser from 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Brooklyn Community Building to raise money for a Brooklyn Area Veterans’ Memorial, to be located at the west edge of the village and scheduled for construction next year. 

Bob Klinger and his band will be on hand to provide some bouncy numbers, so folks who want to dance (or learn) the polka, waltz, fox trot, schottische or other dance steps, this is the perfect opportunity.  


The BriarPickers will play at barn dance

Everyone is invited to the eighth Old-time Barn Dance at the O’Brien Barn, 552 Glenway Road, Brooklyn, on Saturday, Oct. 18. 

There will be a potluck dinner at 5:30 p.m. with the barn dance at 7 p.m.

The BriarPickers will provide live music with special guest performances by The Krause Family Band. The dance caller will be Mike Mossman.

It is also the Oregon-Brooklyn Food Pantry collection night. Information can be found at for donation needs. 

A suggested donation of $10 will be collected for the potluck and dance. Kids are free. 

For more information, visit


A helping haunted house

Brandon Lang and his family like scaring people … but only for a good cause, of course. 

It all started out in 2006 on Halloween, as a small walk-through, using cardboard boxes, and every year, it has steadily grown. 

“From that moment on, I was very intrigued with scaring others,” he said.  

As the years progressed, so did the haunt - adding more spooky structures, more actors, more volunteers and more days the event was open to the public. 

Admission is free, though donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to The Recovery Foundation, including funds raised earlier this year at a dinner, brat stands and the Oregon homecoming parade.

“They help sponsor people that cannot afford treatment,” Lang said. 

When asked earlier why the family would spend so much time creating a free haunted house, Lang said it’s all in the family. 


St. John's Smorgasboard photos

Organizers expected to serve more than 1,200 attendees and 200 workers at the 59th St. John's Smorgasboard event Thursday, Oct. 2. The event is held annually and features a meal, dessert included, for either lunch or dinner.