By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Along the Street: Olioteca presents month-long celebration

News-Register file photo##Olio Nuovo Festival in 2016.
News-Register file photo##Olio Nuovo Festival in 2016.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Keck Hall foundation takes shape at Linfield College along with preparations to connect the structure to the remodeled Graf Hall. Demolition continues through mid-November in the Graf basement and stairs as well as the slab on grade wall. The project remains on schedule for December 2022 completion. The first classes in the new building are scheduled for January term 2023.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Keck Hall foundation takes shape at Linfield College along with preparations to connect the structure to the remodeled Graf Hall. Demolition continues through mid-November in the Graf basement and stairs as well as the slab on grade wall. The project remains on schedule for December 2022 completion. The first classes in the new building are scheduled for January term 2023.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##McMinnville Eye Clinic optician Pamala Somers places sets of eyeglasses in their proper place while she and other employees prepare for their new building s grand opening.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##McMinnville Eye Clinic optician Pamala Somers places sets of eyeglasses in their proper place while she and other employees prepare for their new building's grand opening.

Durant Olive Mill Oregon’s only commercial olioteca — olive oil producer — will host its 13th annual Olio Nuovo Festival during November.

The festival will be held in the gift shop 5510 N.E. Breyman Orchards Road, Dayton, where the Durant family has been growing grapes and olive trees for decades.

It will include a series of cooking classes, gardening workshops, olive oil tastings and the release of new oil and Durant Vineyard’s new 2018 Brut Sparkling Wine, a weekend marketplace featuring local food producers, a wood-fired food cart, and live music on weekends.

Tours of the olive mill, the only one in Oregon, will be offered at 10 a.m. daily. Cost is $10 and advance registration is required.

The Durant gift shop also offers a complimentary olio nuovo — freshly milled extra virgin olive oil — sampling bar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The cooking class series costs $120 and is open to the first 12 people who register in advance. Chefs will teach a variety of dishes that make us of fresh olive oil.

Classes include: Fresh Pasta Making with Chef Leta Merrill, 6 to 8 p.m. Nov.3; Italy meets Japan with Chef Megan Barrie, 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 10; Traditional Tuscan Supper with Chef Paolo Calamai, 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 24.

Oysters & Olio Happy Hours will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Nov. 13, 20 and 27. Cost is $30 per person per session; reservations are recommended. Oysters, olive oil and Durant Vineyards Brut will be featured.

Gardening & Craft Workshops cost $85; reservations are required. They include: Wire, Moss & Vine Cornucopia Workshops, 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13; Evergreens Hanging Basket Workshops, 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Saturday Nov. 27.

Admission is free to the local marketplace events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November weekends. A food truck, live music and local produce and products will be featured.

The Durant business was founded by Penny and Ken Durant and now is run by their son, Paul Durant.

The property at Red Ridge Farms, Dayton, includes Durant vineyards and tasting room, lodging, a boutique plant nursery/gift shop, gardens, and nature trail. In 2008, the Durants added Durant Olive Mill, which includes 17 acres of olive trees and a state-of-the-art Italian olive mill.

Paul Durant said he is excited to have an in-person festival this year to introduce more people to its Oregon Olio Nuovo Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

For more information, reservations and a schedule of events, call 503-864-2000, or go to

Insurance office

Pattie Warner has opened a new Bisnett Insurance office in McMinnville.

Bisnett is an independent insurance company that started in Pendleton and now has multiple offices in Oregon, Idaho and Arizona.

Warner’s office is located in the Greater McMinnville Chamber of Commerce building, 319 N.E. Fifth St. She wanted a place where customers come in and work with her face-to-face, she said.

“I enjoy taking care of customers,” she said. “I like people and like helping them.”

Warner can write insurance polices for personal insurance, such as home, auto, boats, motorcycles and rental dwellings; and for business insurance, such as retail shops, wine shops, contractors, art studios and other commercial enterprises.

She works with a variety of companies, so she’s able to find the right insurance for customers at the right place, she said.

She said she also helps with claims. Although most companies let customers make claims directly, she said, it’s usually helpful to contact her so she can help start the claim, make sure all the information is provided and follow through so it’s handled properly.

“It’s always an advantage to have someone advocate for you,” she said.

Warner started her career with Oregon Mutual Insurance. Wanting to deal directly with customers, she joined an independent insurance company. She worked for Payne West prior to opening the Bisnett office.

She can be reached at 971-925-8495.

Tommy’s open

Tommy’s Restaurant, 1947 N.E. 99W in McMinnville, has reopened after being closed for several weeks earlier this fall.

The restaurant has been a favorite for breakfasts and lunches in McMinnville for more than four decades. It is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, call 971-412-0695.

American degree

John Stables Jr. of the Amity High School FFA Chapter has earned his American Degree, the highest honor available to youths in the FFA program.

He spent 479 hours performing community service, raised and invested $38,500 and spent 4,394 hours on dairy cattle, meat goats and diversified livestock projects in earning the degree.

He is one of 3,863 FFA members in the nation to earn the award, which goest to fewer than 1% of all members of the organization. According to FFA leaders, they showed “the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”

Stables was awarded the American FFA Degree at the 94th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 27-30.

He and other recipients each received a gold American FFA Degree key and certificate.

Portuguese event

Coehlo Winery in Amity is planning “A Night in Portugal,” with Coehlo wines paired with a five-course Portuguese dinner, for Dec. 11. Cookbook author Ana Patuleia Ortins will prepare the meal and Fado star Ramona Vieira will sing.

Cost is $125 per person or $700 for  table. For reservations and more information, call 503-835-9305.

New tax address

Medrano Tax has moved to 2019 N.E. Highway 99W, a newly constructed building near Tommy’s Restaurant and Centro Chiropractic Clinic.

Owner Raul Medrano offers personal, business, corporate and partnership tax services in both English and Spanish. He offers business consulting, as well, and he and an employee also now are offering accounting and bookkeeping.

Medrano moved to McMinnville in 2004 from the Los Angeles area. He had been on a mission, then graduated from California State University-Long Beach, where he studied accounting, switched to education, then returned to accounting to finish his degree.

During college, he also worked as a teaching assistant for two years.

He started his own business in 2005, specializing in accounting and tax preparation. He said about 85% of his clients speak Spanish and, as a Latino himself, he’s pleased to be able to communicate with them and understand both their language and culture.

Medrano Tax is open seven days a week during the tax season, January through April or May. Until then, the office is open by appointment at 503-583-1172.

Dentists moving

Smile Keepers, also known as Gentle Dental, will move its offices from downtown McMinnville to the north part of town in November.

The office will be closed Nov. 12 to 17, then reopen under the Gentle Dental name at its new address, 2275 N.E. 27 St. in a building that once held Bedmart.

The full-service dental office has three dentists and several office staff members. It accepts all types of insurance, including the Oregon Health Plan, office manager Lori Jackson said.

The office is taking new patients.

The office is located at Eighth and Evans streets. For more information and appointments, call 503-472-3147.

What’s going up

Here are some commercial building projects underway in Yamhill County:

- Remodeling soon will be wrapped up at Farnham Electric, 1050 N.E. Lafayette Avenue. Employees have been working out of trailers on the parking lot during the updating process.

- Remodeling is underway at the Ferryman Building in downtown Lafayette. The old building has been cleaned out and it’s being repainted and spruced up. 

- Ground has been broken for four new buildings at 1245 N.E. Alpha Drive in McMinnville’s Industrial District. Located on nearly three acres, the buildings will contain 16 units available for lease, including 10 that are nearly 2,000 square feet each and six that are 3,200 square feet. Construction is expected to start in the spring.

- Workers have installed seismic reinforcing in the Heider Building on Bridge Street in downtown Sheridan, which is being converted into retail space on the first floor with eight apartments on top. The brick structure was built in the 1920s, but an older wooden building went up on the spot in the late 1800s; it burned in the devastating 1913 fire that destroyed much of Sheridan’s business district.

- McMinnville Eye Clinic’s new office at 2445 N.E. Cumulus Avenue has opened. Patients now can receive cataract surgery and other treatments on site, in addition to eye exams and other services.

- Work continues on Linfield University’s new science complex. Memorial Hall was razed and Graf Hall gutted to allow for construction of a new building and remodeling of the old classrooms, offices and lecture hall. With larger spaces for study and research, the new complex is expected to open in fall 2022.

- The first three tiny home lodgings are going up at Ninth Street and Alpine Avenue, home of the new Boutique Retreat Wine Country Vacation Cottages. Sarita Springer and Kevin Kump are owners and developers of the complex, expected to open in the spring of 2022.

- Construction continues on the Granary Row food court building at 1039 N.E. Lafayette Avenue, in McMinnville’s urban renewal district. Chae Jordan Pak is developing the space, which will house four micro-restaurants with a common eating area.

- Homeward Bound Pets is continuing plans and fundraising for its new pet shelter building adjacent to its current buildings on Loop Road, near the McMinnville Airport.


Wine for fire relief

Stoller Wine Group of Dayton and Furioso Vineyards of Dundee are among wineries that contributed to a new wine blend that will benefit efforts toward wildfire relief and prevention.

Union Wine Company of Tualatin is releasing the limited run of Oregon Pinot noir Cuvee. A to Z Wineworks of Newberg also participated in the project, along with Bjornson Vineyards of the Eola/Amity Hills, Ponzi Winery of Sherwood, and Willamette Valley Vineyards, based in Turner with a presence in Carlton, McMinnville and Dundee.

Proceeds from 100% of sales will go toward helping Oregon forests recover from wildfires and allow fire victims to rebuild and prevent future occurrences.

Twenty percent will go to the Keep Oregon Green Association. The nonprofit has promoted healthy landscapes and safe communities through education since 1941. It will use funds from the Curvee to increase awareness of the need to prevent human-caused wildfires — 70% of wildfires in Oregon are human-caused. according to Keep Oregon Green statistics.

The other 80% of the proceeds from the wine will go to the Oregon Community Foundation’s Community Rebuilding Fund, which is helping communities affected by fires in 2020 and 2021.

Stoller Wine Group was happy to collaborate in the effort, said Melissa Burr, vice president of winemaking for the company. “At Stoller, we have a deep appreciation for our land and desire to support our community,” Burr said.

The wine is available at select New Seasons Market and Market of Choice stores, the participating wineries’ tasting rooms, or online through Union Wine Company’s website at

For more information about wildfire prevention, go to

Rates declining

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services expects Oregon employers to pay less for workers’ compensation coverage in 2022 than in 2021.

DCBS officials said it will be the ninth year of average decreases in the base rate insurers use to determine how much employers must pay for medical costs and lost wages.

They attributed the cost decreases to the success of the Oregon workers’ compensation system, which includes programs to control costs, maintain good worker benefits, ensure employers carry insurance for their workers and improve workplace safety and health.

DCBS said employers, on average, will pay 97 cents per $100 of payroll for workers’ compensation costs in 2022. It is $1.02 per $100 this year.

Employers’ total cost for workers’ compensation insurance includes the pure premium and insurer profit and expenses, plus the premium assessment. Employers also pay half of the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment, which is a cents-per-hour-worked rate.

To check the annual Oregon average pure premium rate changes and average changes by industry, go to

Chamber Greeters

Real Deals on Home Decor, 125 N.E. Highway 99W, will host host the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce Greeters program at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5. Admission is $1.

For more information, go to the Chamber website,

The Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a Greeters program from 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Northwest Christian Center, 2315 Villa Road, Newberg. For more information, go to

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