Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Update October 29, 2010

Council - This week has really sped by. There are just a couple of things to update you about.

Halloween Parade. As you all know, Halloween is a busy day and a busy evening in Ashland. There are two formally organized events during the day and the informal activities that happen in downtown in the evening, after dark. The first event of the day is the "Monster Dash," a 5K or 1 mile run/walk to raise funds for the Ashland Schools Foundation. This event is organized by the Ashland Kiwanis and the Ashland Schools Foundation. Many of the folks who participate in this event run in costume. Afterwards, the Children's Holiday Parade, organized by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, leaves from the Library at 3:00 p.m. and goes down Main to the Plaza. Main Street will be closed for much of the afternoon. Many thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for refocusing this year's event on children. Then, of course, after the sun goes down, the adult revelers come to downtown Ashland to celebrate. We always hope that it will snow or hail after about 8:30. Barring that, Ashland Police and Ashland Fire will provide an update on the evening events on Monday. I hope your Halloween is full of treats and free of tricks.

Rich Walsh Retires. As many of you know, Rich Walsh has worked for the City of Ashland for 29 years, the last six so as Deputy Police Chief. On Thursday, October 28, Rich retired for real from the City of Ashland to become the Co-Director of Campus Public Safety for Southern Oregon University. Rich will attend the Council meeting on Tuesday night so the City can recognize him for his many years of service to the community.

Economic Development Open Houses. There are two open houses next week on the Economic Development Goals and Vision. The first is Wednesday, November 3 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Pioneer Hall. The second is November 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Center on Winburn Way. I hope you can make one or both of these events and listen to citizen comments on the strategies.

I think that is all for now. I will see you all on Monday and Tuesday at your Study Session and Regular Meeting.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Fire and Rescue happenings

A few interesting things have been happening over at Ashland Fire and Rescue:

Fire Hydrant Marking
You may have noticed some new markings on a few Ashland city streets. If you look closely, these markings are the silhouette of a blue fire hydrant on a white reflective background. The City of Ashland Street Department and Ashland Fire and Rescue are placing these markings down at certain locations on a trial basis.

The City currently doesn't have a hydrant marking program such as the blue reflective "dots" that are common in many communities. Typically, these marking systems help the firefighters locate a fire hydrant while responding to a fire. Vegetation growth, illegally parked vehicles, and other factors can make locating fire hydrants in an emergency a difficult task. To complicate matters more, if the traditional blue reflective dots are used in areas that receive snow, such as Ashland, they must be placed in a small trough that has been ground down several inches into the surface of the street. This prevents the snow plow from scrapping the blue dots off the street surface as it passes. However, because this new trial product is made of the same material as the striping on the street there is no need to grind the street (saving us time and money.)

These new hydrant markers are placed immediately adjacent to a fire hydrant. We'll be trying this system over the winter and comparing it with the cost and durability of the blue reflective dots.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
You might also have noticed our Ashland Fire and Rescue personnel wearing particularly snazzy pink shirts. They are doing this because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to Fire and Rescue personnel for bringing attention to this important cause. I think they look great.

Hope you all have a very wonderful, crisp Fall weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weekend Events

It looks like this will again be a busy weekend in Ashland. There are two big events downtown this weekend. These events reflect the strength of community and of volunteerism in Ashland. You may have read about them in the paper, and I hope you will find time to enjoy one or both of them..

SoPride Parade. On Saturday, Main Street will be closed for the Southern Oregon Pride Parade. The parade will be from noon to 1 p.m., and at the end of the parade, there will be music and speeches at the Butler Band Shell in Lithia Park. There are a number of other events taking place in town on Friday and Saturday. You can learn more at

Elks Club Building Centennial. On Sunday, Main Street will be closed between First and Second from 10 a.m. to noon for the re-dedication of the Elks Lodge. The Columbia Hotel will also have a re-dedication ceremony. This is a chance for the community to visit this historic resource and to watch the "replication" of the original dedication ceremony.