Archive | May, 2013

The OSU Extension Service is offering free well water nitrate screenings for well owners

Posted on 30 May 2013 by admin

Submitted by Chrissy Lucas

A portion of the Southern Willamette Valley has been designated as a Groundwater Management Area by the Department of Environmental Quality due to elevated nitrate levels in well water. While it is especially important for households with pregnant women or newborns to test for nitrate because of a rare type of blue-baby syndrome, all homes with private wells should be aware of their nitrate level.

For a free nitrate screening, bring ½ cup of untreated well water in a clean, watertight container. You may either wait for your results (the test takes 5 to 10 minutes if the well water clinic is not busy), or leave your contact information for the results to be delivered after the clinic date.

Clinics are currently scheduled for:

June 6 at the Benton County Sunset Building Sustainable Living Clinic, 4077 SW Research Way, Corvallis, from 1pm to 5pm.

June 23 in Monroe, across the street from the fire station at the corner of 7th and Commercial Streets, from 11am to 3pm

For more information, contact:

Chrissy Lucas

541-766-3556

Chrissy.Lucas@oregonstate.edu

OSU Extension Service

4077 SW Research Way

Corvallis, OR 97333

 

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Deadline Approaching for Enrollment in Ford Institute Leadership Program for Junction City/Harrisburg

Posted on 30 May 2013 by admin

This fall, the Ford Institute for Community Building will return to Junction City/Harrisburg for a second Leadership Program class.  The Ford Institute for Community Building promotes vitality in rural communities as part of The Ford Family Foundation from Roseburg, Oregon.

The Leadership Development training consists of 48 class hours held over four Friday–

Saturday sessions spread out on a monthly basis. The classes focus on developing the community leadership capacity of individuals.   The Institute covers the cost of the program and materials, and provides food and beverages. Participants are responsible for travel to and from the trainings.

The training emphasizes an interactive and facilitative style rather than lectures. It draws on the knowledge and skills of those in the room, augmented by the lessons in the curriculum.

A typical class consists of about 25 individuals, high-school students to retired seniors, with leadership experience ranging from emerging to seasoned. This training is designed for a diverse mix of citizens representing business, government and non-profit sectors.

Curriculum concepts include community capacity and social capital, personality types and leadership styles, community development models, Catalytic Leadership Model, asset mapping, group development, models for group decision-making, communication strategies, and volunteerism.

Each class selects a project that they work on together, for example, a local park improvement. The project helps focus the course content on a real-world situation. The Institute provides up to a $5,000 match in support of the project. Participants are expected to volunteer outside the class to complete the project within one year.

Community members who are interested in finding out more about the Leadership Program or who are interested in nominating themselves or others for the cohort, should visit The Ford Family Foundation’s website at www.tfff.org/filp or contact Regional Program Coordinator, Jess Hampton at jhampton@rdiinc.org or 503-801-2513(cell) for more information.  The deadline for submitting an application to the Leadership Program is June 15th.

 

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TC Tigers

Tri-County Tigers Fast-Pitch Softball Team Takes Salem Tournament

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

TC Tigers
The Tri-County Tigers 10u ASA fast-pitch softball team finished in first place in the Salem Spring Classic held April 27-28 at Wallace Marine Park, Salem. The TC Tigers won all three games in championship play that Sunday to take the title. The Tigers started the day by beating the Beaverton Blaze 15-5 on 8 hits and 12 walks. In game two, the Tigers won 6-2 over the Sherwood Fireballs with great defense and pitching. The championship game was against Tigard Blast, a team that had previously beaten the Tigers. In the final game the TC Tigers again played great defense, had timely hitting, and came away with the victory 6-3.
“I am very proud of the way the girls played all weekend, “ said coach Bob Collins. “They played almost error-free softball and competed all day.”
At the May 11-12 tournament in Salem, the TC Tigers took third place. The following week in Junction City the TC Tigers won 5-0, to take first place in that tournament.
The TC Tigers team is made up of girls ages 10 and under from Junction City, Monroe, Harrisburg and Santa Clara.
Thanks Bob Collins 541-517-0157

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ETF 2013 Awards

Education Together Foundation Awards

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

ETF 2013 Awards

JUNCTION CITY – This year Education Together Foundation awarded a record of $95,000 scholarships and grants to 56 students, community education organizations, and adults continuing their education. Education Together Foundation was founded in 1987.
Students receiving scholarships are:
Hannah Bolton, Adelman Academic and Leadership Scholarship, $1,000
Sarah Elizabeth Hooker, Betty Pitney Memorial Endowment Scholarship to LCC, $1,000
Leah Tellez, Beverly Conser Nelson Memorial, $1,000
Christina Puderbaugh, Brooks & Arlene Cox Mikkelsen Endowment, $1,750
Morgan Steinmetz, Bud & Betty Carpenter Endowment, $500
Caitlin Jean Foust, Casey Wahi Memorial Endowment, $3,400
Stephen A Foley, Cleve Dumdi Memorial Scholarship, $1,000
Marisa Owens, Countryside Animal Clinic Scholarship, $1,000
Samantha Kihn, Dean Moes Memorial Endowment & Jim Higgins Memorial Endowment, $1,000
Kinser Nyden, Dr. John and Stacy Hunts Scholarship, $1,000
Bailey McAllister, Education Together Foundation Endowment, $500
Vanessa Jordan, Education Together Foundation Endowment, $1,000
Anthony Vickery, Education Together Foundation Legacy Scholarship, $2,000
Jessica Dodge, Education Together Foundation Legacy Scholarship, $2,000
Ryley McAllister, Education Together Foundation Legacy Scholarship, $2,000
Samuel Gonzalez, Education Together Foundation Legacy Scholarship, $2,000
Schools and Community, Education Together Grant Funding – Schools and Community,  $6,500
Lianne Steinmetz, Eric & Sharon Schrenk Endowment, $500
Ethan Mills, Function 4 Junction Scholarship, $2,000.
Levi Smucker, G. Andrew Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship, $1,000
Andrea Blake, Gary and Pat Straube Scholarship, $1,000
Paarth Nilesh Patel, Gary Butler Memorial Endowment, $1,000
Elise Claire Nord, Gayle Denison Strome Endowment Scholarship Fund, $2,000
Emily Millicent Mumford, Howard Gibson Endowment & Dari-Mart Employee ASD, $2,000
Britniann L. Ward, JC Business & Professional Women‘s Scholarship, $1,000
Jenna Wiser, JC Business & Professional Women‘s Scholarship, $1,000
Meggan Brooke Graton, JC Lions Club Scholarship, $1,000
Joel T. Schlim, Jerry Brown Company Scholarship, $1,000
Laurel Elementary Health Center, Jim Paull Memorial, $500
Payten Renee Lighty, Jim Pitney Memorial Endowment, $1,000
Rachel Magnusson, John & Ardeth Haurigan Endowment, $500
Daniel Pozos, Justin Moore Memorial Endowment, $1,000
ShayLee Nicole Miner, Keith Gillis Memorial Scholarship, $1,000
Monique Norris, Ken & Maxine Hays Memorial Endowment, $1,000
Justin David Wintch, Kymo Timber, Inc. Scholarship, $2,000
ETF Board use, Larry Brown – Jeri Brown Endowment, $500
Mary Day, Lee Chase Crossman Scholarship, $1,000
Kaitlyn Allen, Lochmead Dairy Scholarship, $1,000
Molly DeJaynes, Lochmead Farms Scholarship, $1,000
Abigail Anderson, Long Tom Grange – Larry Crowley Commemorative Endowment, $1,000
Tristan Leslie, Lucile & Elmer Andrews Memorial Endowment, $500
Janessa J Francois, Mary Metts Memorial Scholarship, $2,000
Joseph Daniel Schacher, Jr., Max & Rose Strauss Memorial Endowment, $500
Angel Pointer, Michael T DuBrowa Memorial Endowment, $1,000
Morgan Blankenship, Old School Vineyard & Wine Company Scholarship, $1,000
Shiloh Slaeker, Scandinavian Festival Association St. Lucia Scholarship, $1,000
Kristen Brown, Soroptimist International of Junction City Scholarship, $1,000
Micaela Slaeke, Soroptimist International of Junction City Endowment, $500
Alex Logan Eddy, Stan Hall Science Scholarship, $1,200
Cheyenne Miner, Starns Family Endowment, $2,000
Christopher F Sanchez, Starns Family Endowment, $1,000
Max Levi Reerslev, Starns Family Endowment, $1,000
Jessica Petra Gonzalez, Starns FFA Endowment, $1,000
AshlyAnn Lemhouse, Strome-Fisher Farm Scholarship, $1,500
Skyler Welch, Susie Irwin Memorial Endowment, $500
Amber-Elizabeth Smith, Tiger Alumni Scholarship, $1,000
Jessica Watters, Tiger Alumni Scholarship, $1,000
Kaitlyn Nicole Smith, Tiger Alumni Scholarship, $1,000
Abbi Willks, Unwired West Internet Scholarship, $1,000

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JCHS career day 02

Career Day at JCHS

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

JCHS career day 02
JUNCTION CITY – On May 22 Junction City High School hosted a highly successful Career Day. “Kids loved it, staff loved it and presenters loved it,” stated Liz Henderson, social studies teacher and Career Day organizer.
Planning for Career Day began last fall when two alumni of JCHS suggested the idea to Liz Turner-Bolton, College & Career Coordinator at the high school. “So many alumni are doing fascinating things in the world, so we’ve called on them to come speak,” said Turner-Bolton.
28 alumni of JCHS returned to their alma mater to present information on jobs ranging from behavioral science, marketing, fire fighting, probation, entrepreneur opportunities in “green” industries, operating a day care, jobs in the air force, auto mechanics, farming, and more. They focused on the skills they have and the paths they took to get them. Students attended their choice of three presenters in three different job fields.
Some of the alumni presenters included Eric Richards, 2004, senior supply chain analyst at Nike, Inc., Matt Wallaert, 2000, behavioral scientist at Bing, Kip DuBrowa, 1987, business development manager & managing equity partner at Fabrik Consulting whose key clients include Microsoft, and Kyle Kinion, 1999, juvenile probation officer.
Henderson stated she would like to see this event repeated at least every four years so kids can go through it at least once in high school, with more often being an option depending on alumni involvement.

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SONY DSC

Cleaning Up The Town: Proposal For Debris Dumping Violations In Drainage Ways

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

SONY DSC

By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – Interim City Administrator Melissa Bowers presented the City Council with a draft staff process for responding to code violations within the city’s wetland protected areas. Prohibited activities addressed were dumping, piling or disposal of refuse, yard debris or other material.
“Staff realized that we did not have a process for the city to respond to violations of this nature,” Bowers said at the May 14 city council meeting.  Because the Department of State Lands addresses violations 50 cubic yards in size or larger, this draft addresses violations less than that.
Bowers presented the Council with a draft violation process developed by staff in the form of a staff decision tree for violations where the violator is not confirmed, since complaints are primarily received after dumping has occurred. This process will outline the staff’s response following the receipt of such a complaint.
Public Works Director Jason Knope presented the plan: “We are looking at developing a process with the mind set of education, prevention and non-punishment punitive measures.”
The process will first quantify the debris. If less than 50 cubic yards, it continues to identify whether this is the first, second, third or more time the offense has occurred.
The first time is handled with an education and prevention process, where city staff gets the word out through public outreach by sending letters to those living within a block of where the offense occurred.
After the second time, public outreach will continue as it did after the first time with letters to local residents, but adds a bigger presence by city staff in the neighborhood with the posting of signs.
After three or more times, letters will be sent again and signs will be posted in the neighborhood once more with city staff having an even bigger presence in the neighborhood with the goal of getting the word out about other programs the city has in place for removing yard debris.
“The city has many programs that are either no cost or very inexpensive, for example, the gray container at $1.50 a month, that are a much better way than dumping in the wetlands,” Knope said.
He then proposed a centralized file system where the city can identify what stage a violation is in to ensure a timely response, because “when folks bring these issues up, they want to make sure we take care of them as quickly as possible,” Knope said.
The city’s procedure for handling waste in drainage ways is size-dependent. If debris is less than 3 cubic yards, the city will clean it during the regularly scheduled quarterly cleaning time. For amounts between 3 and 50 cubic yards, “We are going to take the time to clean the mess up,” Knope said.
The Council was pleased with the staff’s presentation and had no additional questions or comments.

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Hospital Sets Date With The State: Mayor Pays Tribute To Winners Of ‘If I Were Mayor’ Contest

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

2013 02 26_Valley -middle of_ET_Conduit -facing west (2)

By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – State hospital administrator Jodie Jones paid a visit to the May 14 JC City Council meeting with definitive legislative dates set aside to discuss JC state hospital funding along with news about construction progress.
“We continue with the installation for the underground utilities, the slab work and the foundations that are going on,” Jones said. Workers are also on Dreas Way putting in the conduit for the telecom duct work.
After a meeting late last month with Lane County Transit, the state hospital can expect to see a bus stop along Dreas Way that will stop at the hospital after it’s built and also at the future prison once it’s built. “We are talking about the best way to set that up now,” Jones said.
The biggest news Jones brought before the Council was “that we finally have a date before Ways and Means to get our budget approved,” Jones said, with a meeting scheduled before the State Legislature committee for May 31.
Currently on Fridays, the different capital construction entities are appearing before the Ways and Means Committee to present their projects and explain how they will work, what funds are needed and why the funds are needed.
“We are slated as the last ones on the docket,” she said. “We will know sometime after that, which ones they are approving and which ones they are not—we are getting that much closer.”
Jones then reported about the positive press coverage that the state hospital project has been receiving, “with a positive story above the fold,” she said.
Jones looks forward to attending next month’s City Council meeting with good news about a funding approval.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Dave Brunscheon congratulated the following winners of the ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest: First place winner for the grades 4-6 poster category was fourth grader Shelby Yearout. First place winner for the grades 7-8 essay contest was eighth grader Tiffeney Villa.
The mayor presented each winner with a plaque and local prizes with the announcement that each entry has been submitted to compete in the statewide contest.

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Fact or Fiction: Residents Question The Actions Of Local Leaders

Fact or Fiction: Residents Question The Actions Of Local Leaders

Posted on 28 May 2013 by admin

mayorBy Vera Westbrook
HARRISBURG – Some Harrisburg residents are questioning the integrity of city officials after the City Council recently allowed Life Bible Church to convert River Bend Resort into a church and build a sanctuary there. Below are some topics brought to the attention of the newspaper concerning the ethics of the May 8 meeting.
Some folks voiced complaints that the Harrisburg Justice Center was too small a venue for the public hearing with a maximum occupancy of 75 people, as folks were standing outside the building and blocking the entryway.
“When we approached we were told the room was at capacity and they weren’t letting anyone else in,” said Harrisburg resident Mike Hurd, who came to listen and possibly testify. “Everybody has the right to have input and it was denied, in my opinion.”
Hurd further said, “I feel bad for citizens of this country not to be able to partake in a democratic process that they have a right to partake in,” no matter what their opinion. “Life Bible had a right to be there as everybody had a right to be there. It goes back to poor planning on the part of the city.”
City Administrator Bruce Cleeton claimed responsibility “as I was the one who selected the venue,” he said.
Cleeton chose the Justice Center for the resort appeal hearing because of a lack of attendance at the previous Planning Commission hearing held at the high school where only 40 people showed up. The Justice Center holds nearly twice that amount, so he thought there would be plenty of room.
“I didn’t realize the church was going to have so many people showing up for that hearing,” Cleeton said. “It was the first time in my 14 years that I’ve run into a situation where we had more people than we had capacity for.” Ultimately, the decision made by the City Council had more to do with legal issues than concerns raised by public testimony.
City Administrator Brian Latta, who’ll be replacing Cleeton after he retires on May 31, said he would take precautions to avoid overcrowding at future public meetings.
Other folks questioned the fact that Life Bible Church had given prior assistance to Mayor Robert Duncan and thought he should be recused from heading the city council meeting and public hearing.
When confronted about this possible conflict of interest, Duncan explained that in 2005 when his wife was ill, Life Bible, along with several other churches, offered support to help the mayor through a difficult time. Duncan said the assistance he received was minor and had no influence on his ability to run the 2013 meeting.
“It had absolutely no bearing on any decision I made, because I didn’t make a decision,” he said. “I didn’t vote; the Council voted.”
A mayor’s duties during a city council meeting include running the meeting, offering advice to the Council and voting only if necessary to break a tie among voting councilors; otherwise, a mayor does not vote. A tie vote did not occur at the May 8 meeting.
Another possible conflict of interest that existed for the mayor was that he knows people in town including family members who attend or have attended Life Bible Church. Duncan believed that fact was not significant since everybody in town likely knows somebody who has attended Life Bible. The mayor himself attends King’s Grace Fellowship.
According to Cleeton, “Legally, a conflict of interest exists only if the issue before the City Council will, or could, result in a financial benefit or detriment to the mayor or a member of his household. That was not the case.”
Although Life Bible Church never threatened the city with a lawsuit, some folks thought Duncan should have closed the meeting and referred the matter to the city attorney. Duncan explained that the city attorney was also present at the hearing and aware of the possibility that the city was violating federal law and agreed with the decision the Council made.
“According to law, I did what was the right and honorable thing to do,” Duncan said.
Duncan invites the community to attend city council meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month to share their thoughts with him and to vent. “I am an open book,” he said. “If somebody wants to look at my tax returns for the last three years, they are more than welcome.” The city books are also open for inspection.
The Planning Commission will review the Life Bible Church site plan for the proposed sanctuary to be built on the River Bend Resort property at the June 18 Planning Commission meeting.

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raised bed gardens plans

Building a Beautiful Raised-Bed Garden

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

raised bed gardens plans
By Edie Moro
It is time to put in our veggie patch, also known as our “garden”. This part of our yard is not to be confused with our “landscape,” which is the beautiful, manicured, colorful non-food-growing part of our property.
Wait a minute. Let’s back up here. Why does our garden area have to look utilitarian just because it is the food-producing work-horse part of our yard? With a little thought and extra prep work, our “garden” can be as beautiful and inviting as the rest of our yard.
There are two basic ways to do a garden: raised beds or rows. The benefits of raised beds are many. They give us a well-defined area within which to work the soil; and they help warm the soil faster in the spring, which is good for getting directly sown seeds started. They can be built in different shapes to accommodate our space. We can build them high enough so we don’t have to stoop low to pull weeds or pick veggies.
When I think of an example of beautiful raised beds, what comes to mind is a set of L-shaped raised boxes that the gardener built around a small patio. Paths between the boxes extend from the patio. Flat boards along the top edge act as seating, making it easy for the gardener to work. These raised beds are an attractive, integral part of the landscape. This type of garden bed design could go in the front yard of a home without neighborly complaints.
If you have enough room for rows in the ground, long low raised beds, or just long mounds of dirt, you can grow a lot more veggies. How do we keep this type of garden from looking so utilitarian? I like to think of this type of veggie patch as a medieval walled garden, complete with a fence to keep out deer, dogs, and maybe the neighbor’s cats. Build a gated arbor for the entrance and use it for growing vines such as beans or a grape. You can arrange the rows so that there is an open area in the center or in one corner for a table and chairs. That way, when the gardener wants to take a break for tea or wants to prep some veggies before carrying them inside, she has a place to sit and enjoy her work.
The area around the edge of the fence is a great place for larger edible shrubs or herbs. If you have a deer problem, you could plant a row of blueberries, raspberries, or currants inside the fence. Outside it, you could put a hedge of rosemary, lavender, and Artemisia such as ‘Powis Castle’ or southernwood for their aromatic foliage.
Once you have designed and built a beautiful place to grow your garden, you can plant it. May is the time to transplant starts of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, squashes and gourds, pumpkins, melons, onions and leeks. Once the ground is warm enough, about 70°F, you can direct sow squash and cucumber seeds, as well as beans. Direct sow greens any time now. Put in another section of radishes as you pull ones that are ready.
If you would like a schedule of when to start or direct sow seeds, you can call or email me.
Edie Moro is a local landscape consultant and designer and JC Garden Club member. She can be reached at 541.998-8852 or by email at ediesgardens@gmail.com.

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Two Seaplanes in flight – Offbeat Oregon

The Samurai Pilot Who Bombed Oregon

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

Japanese aviator - Offbeat Oregon

By Finn J.D. John

It was a little after 6 am on September 9, 1942. A tiny seaplane with red balls painted on its wings was making its way through the skies over Brookings, Oregon. At the controls was a young man named Nobuo Fujita; behind him, in the observer’s seat, looking intensely at the ground, was another, named Shoji Okuda.
The two of them were looking for a good place to initiate the first airstrike ever to be made on the continental United States.
Fujita’s plan
This whole gambit had been Fujita’s idea. Fujita was a warrant officer aboard the Imperial Japanese submarine I-25, in charge of the little reconnaissance airplane the sub kept on board in a watertight compartment. During the attack on Pearl Harbor he’d suggested bringing the sub across the Pacific and using the little airplane for bombing raids on the American mainland; his executive officer had loved the idea, and asked him to write it up as a formal proposal. So he’d done that.
Nothing had happened for a long time, and Fujita had given the matter little further thought — until April 1942, when that squadron of American bombers under Capt. Jimmy Doolittle’s command had raided Japan itself. The raid had done very little damage — but it had been a slap in the face, and nearly everyone in the Imperial Japanese Navy burned for revenge.
So when Fujita and the rest of the I-25’s crew returned from the cruise they were on, there was a message waiting for them. Fujita was being called to Imperial Navy headquarters immediately. A little worried he might be in some trouble, Fujita complied.
He was elated to learn that his idea was about to be implemented — and that he’d be the man at the controls, charged with delivering four 170-pound bombs to targets on the American mainland.
His joy turned to disappointment, though, when the other shoe was dropped: His assignment was not a suicidal-but-glorious attack against an aircraft plant in Los Angeles, or a U.S. Navy base in San Diego, but dull bomb-delivery run against a bunch of trees in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon. What? Could that be right?
Yes, the commander said. In 1936, a catastrophic forest fire had swept the woods of the southern Oregon coast and destroyed the town of Bandon. It did millions of dollars’ worth of damage and even killed 10 people. If Fujita could set a fire like that, his relatively puny bombs would do far more damage to the enemy than anything he could do to an aircraft factory or munitions plant — and he’d be far more likely to make it back alive, to boot. Skilled pilots cost a lot to train, and airplanes weren’t cheap either.
“Fujita, if you succeed in this mission, you may well help to win this war by spreading panic through the enemy cities,” the commander told him, “proving to them that we can bomb their homes and factories from 5,000 miles away.”
His enthusiasm restored, Fujita had returned to the I-25 ready to do his historic bit. The submarine’s next voyage was going to be for the express purpose of delivering himself and Okuda off the coast of America, ready to strike at the enemy’s homeland.

seaplane launch - offbeat oregon

A Pre-Dawn Launch
And so it was that at 4 am, in the pre-dawn blackness, a mile or two off the Oregon coast, the I-25 surfaced and its tiny seaplane was removed from its storage bay and assembled, ready for action.
The airplane itself was a Yokosuka E14Y (“Glen”), a compact and lightweight floatplane made with a wood frame and fabric skin. Rickety though it looked, it was stoutly built. It had to be, to withstand the forces generated when it was launched, with the aid of a compressed-air-powered catapult track, from the submarine’s deck. And it had a relatively powerful radial engine — a 340 horsepower nine-cylinder radial, which pushed it to a maximum speed of just over 150 miles per hour.

Fujita and Okuda had prepared for this moment — leaving hair and fingernail clippings behind for their families to bury in a funeral should they not return. Now they strapped themselves into their tiny airplane, started the engine, braced themselves and were shot into the gloaming sky. Fujita immediately shaped course eastward, heading toward the dark and silent American continent.
Flying Over Brookings
The plane’s flight path took it almost directly over a small Oregon town — Brookings. Fujita wasn’t about to waste his precious bombs on that, though. The whole great Oregon timberlands lay to the east, and that was where he was headed. He flew on.
Below, early-rising residents heard the engine — one said it sounded like a Maytag washing machine, one of the pre-war gasoline-powered models designed for rural households without electric service. But it was too high up for them to see the Rising Sun insignia on its wings, and
it certainly didn’t sound like any kind of warplane — so few people gave it a second thought.
Soon the two airborne warriors were cruising over a heavily wooded area near Mount Emily. Fujita gave the signal, and Okuda sent his first bomb hurtling down out of the sky and into the history books. It plummeted to the ground and the two Japanese aviators were rewarded with the sight of a modest fireball below, followed by the glow of flames.
They flew on, over a ridge, and dropped their second bomb. Then, losing no time and figuring the American military would soon have fighter planes on the scene, they turned back westward. Fujita opened the throttle up wide and they raced back toward the sea.
Behind them, the fires they’d started flickered fitfully. Most years, early September would be a very dry time in the Oregon timber, but this year it wasn’t. Furthermore, as any logger knows, early morning is the safest time of day in terms of risk of fire; everything is soaked with dew, and temperatures are low. Forest Service lookout crews and Aircraft Warning Service volunteers quickly spotted the smoke and crews had the fires stamped out before the day was over.
The Conquering Heroes Return

Two Seaplanes in flight - Offbeat Oregon

Fujita and Okuda, back on their submarine, reported their success and no doubt basked in the glory of having struck back at the Americans, getting a tiny taste of revenge. They tried again 20 days later, dropping their last two bombs with basically the same effect.
After that, the I-25 stayed around just long enough to torpedo a couple of passing freighters, and then headed back to Japan. It never returned to Oregon waters, and was eventually sunk by an American destroyer off what’s now Vanuatu.
Both Fujita and Okuda were tapped for the Kamikaze program late in the war. Okuda went out on his mission and was, of course, killed while carrying it out; but the war ended before it was Fujita’s turn to go, so he survived the war. Twenty years later, he came back to Brookings on a mission of friendship. We’ll talk about that visit, and the subsequent relationship between Oregon and the Samurai who bombed it, next week.
(Sources: McCash, Bill. Bombs Over Brookings. Bend: Maverick, 2005; Angelucci, Enzo & al. World War II Airplanes, Vol. 2. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1977); ww2db.com)
Finn J.D. John is an instructor at Oregon State University and the author of “Wicked Portland,” a book about the dark side of Oregon’s metropolis in the 1890s. He produces a daily podcast, reading archives from this column, at offbeatoregon.com/itunes. To contact him or suggest a topic: finn@offbeatoregon.com, @OffbeatOregon (on Twitter), or 541-357-2222.

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Memorial Day

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

By Noel Ness
Memorial Day is a federal holiday that occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces.
Every Friday night I try and make it to the Vet’s Club. This is where I meet my paratrooper buddies. We all belong to the West Coast Airborne Association and enjoy sitting around a big round table and socializing. My paratrooper buddies were all sitting at the table – Gary McElroy, Bill Hayes, Mike Reuter, and Patrick Simpson. Wives also joined us and are a very important factor in our gatherings because they translate for us stone-deaf paratroopers. If I had a nickel for every time I heard my paratrooper pals utter the words “what did he say?” I’d be a rich man. So my wife Barb, Doris Hayes, Bev Reuter and Pat Mangers were also there. Pat’s husband Bob recently passed away.
Stories for Memorial Day:  The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award that is still given to members of the U.S. military, the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.
Let me tell you about the men I was sitting with.

Gary’s Story: Gary was hit by an AK 47 round fired by Viet Cong on August 27, 1969 in Binh Dinh Province. Gary was hit in the left shoulder which deflated his left lung and buried itself in his spleen, which was removed. He was serving with C Company, 3rd Battalion. 173rd Airborne Brigade. We were in the same outfit. Different times, different Battalions.

Bill’s Story:  Bill parachuted in to Normandy 0n June 6. 1944. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. Bill was wounded by shrapnel during Operation Market Garden in Holland. The German attack began with a lot of small arms fire and the firing of bazookas at the trees to get the effect of the flying shrapnel. This was just getting underway when he woke up lying on his back. Bill had been hit in the side of his face, hard enough to knock him out for a very short time. Fortunately, according to Bill, it was not a serious wound. Bill held his hand to his face and withdrew it to see a lot of blood. Bill also remembers, while on leave in London, he heard a  V-2 rocket  explode. The V-2 was a short-ranged ballistic missile that was developed in Germany and specifically targeted London. How many folks do you know that have heard that sound? I know one.

Mike’s Story: Mike was wounded on February 2, 1944 while taking part in the beachhead landings at Anzio, Italy. The beachhead was surrounded and the Germans held the high ground. Mike was hit by shrapnel from an artillery round in the arm, chest and head. His platoon Leader, Lt. Frank and Company Commander, Lt. Winsko were both Killed in Action about the same time Mike was receiving his wounds.

Patrick’s Story: Pat told me “my wound was very minor, just a mortar fragment wound that was taken care of at the Battalion Aid Station.” The mortar attack occurred on an afternoon in June of 1969 as he was clearing out a firebase east of Duc Pho in Southern I Corps, Quang Nhai Province. Pat said he was lucky, because he heard the first round explode about 100 yards away and knew instantly that it was an incoming mortar. Pat ran to a shallow overgrown bomb crater and had his head sticking up as three rounds landed in the immediate area. Pat got a frag from one of them and that same mortar attack killed his Battalion Commander and wounded about 8 – 10 others, and a scout dog. If Pat had been inexperienced (a newbie), he might not have realized immediately that the first round was an incoming mortar round. Others who were wounded didn‘t react as quickly as he did, nor did they have an instinct to know where there was a depression in the ground.

Bob’s Story:  Bob parachuted into France at 2:15 AM on June 6, 1944. He landed in a flood plain up to his neck, cut his parachute lines and headed for the bank. Hitler had ordered the flooding at possible parachute landing zones to drown the troopers. And many did drown with all the gear they had on them. Bob also fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Bob was on a jeep with four other troopers and after conducting a foot patrol they slept at a farm house.  Bob sent his men back to headquarters while he stayed behind to report on enemy activity with the field radio that he had. He was eventually captured because he had stayed behind the lines to call artillery on German troops. He managed to escape three times but was always recaptured. Bob was great at escaping but not so great at staying uncaptured. I asked Bob how he was treated. He said “pretty good.” I got a kick out of that. We all loved Bob and miss him a lot.

Thus ends my Memorial Day story about five brave men who’ve I’ve had the privilege of being with at the Vet’s club. As my five buddies and I sit at our table folks walk by and notice older men having a beer and talking. They don’t realize my five buddies have all been awarded the Purple Heart for blood spilled in the defense of their freedom.

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Open House A Successz: Public Responds Favorably To Local Youth Organization

Open House A Successz: Public Responds Favorably To Local Youth Organization

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

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By Vera Westbrook
HARRISBURG – A local youth organization was pleased with the community’s response to a May 13 open house and barbecue after 2,100 invitations were mailed to Harrisburg residents.
“It was a huge success,” said Executive Director Ray White of the newly formed Youthspiration organization. “We served more than 300 dinners” of hamburgers and hot dogs grilled at BN Park across the street from the organization’s office site on Smith Street.
Youthspiration is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving local youth ages 12 to 20 that was recently established on March 1 after securing an office space. Before the organization officially opened its doors, more than 20 youths have been visiting the office daily. By May 13, the office was fully furnished and ready to display.
“We held tours of the facility and showcased what we offer,” White said, with 11 members of the organization’s youth board taking visitors on guided tours. “People showed up from every walk of life,” including 10 members of the organization’s board of directors made up of diverse individuals such as pastors, policemen, firemen and teachers.
“All the people at the event had a wonderful sense of joy about them while they interacted with each other,” White said. “That’s what we want to continue building in Harrisburg, as that sense of belonging and joy is vital now days.”
On guided tours, guests saw kids playing Hangman on a 72-inch Smart Board, several furnished offices, youths playing computer games while sitting on leather sofas, and kids accessing the Internet on six computers. A full-size printer and silk screening equipment were also on display.
“Everyday I walk in here and I’m shocked by how much progress we’ve made,” White said. “I am taken aback by what we say we want to do and how it comes to fruition—it just turns out.”
Several clipboards with sign-up sheets were also made available to guests for various opportunities available at the center such as CPR/First Aid certification, Red Cross Babysitting certification and food handler’s cards. Sign-up sheets were also available to recruit volunteers to assist with Youthspiration activities.
Volunteer opportunities at the center include academic and transitional skills tutoring such as scholarship guidance and resume writing. Mentors are also needed to teach trades like automobile maintenance, gardening and home repair among other services. Office personnel are also needed. Visit the website for a volunteer application.
Upcoming events include a May 17 Hero for a Day meeting, a May 31 green house construction day and a June 27 Harrisburg beautification day. The center will also have a fireworks stand and a booth at the July fourth celebration as well as a float in the parade. Check the website for a list of upcoming events.
The Youthspiration center is open seven days a week M-F 8am-9pm, Saturday 9am-9pm and Sunday 12-5pm. For more information, visit the office on 430 Smith St. or call 541.995.5156 or visit the website at www.youthspiration.org. Also visit the Youthspiration Facebook page for more than a hundred photos of the open house event.

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Senior Connections: Volunteering Helps Seniors Gain Independence And Fight Loneliness

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

By Vera Westbrook
JUNCTION CITY – The Senior Connections program is now available in town with goals to empower seniors and keep them living independently while providing local residents with volunteer opportunities.
The program began in JC about a month ago through Senior & Disabled Services—the area agency on aging and disability services, a division of Lane Council of Governments which is a voluntary association in Lane County that offers regional planning, coordination, program development and service delivery.
In Junction City, the Senior Connections program works out of Viking Sal Senior Center on Wednesdays and Thursdays to serve the senior population there.
“I provide outreach and advocacy, options counseling and much more for seniors, and I’m an information specialist for the aging and disability resource connection,” said Sharon Seiler, the Senior Connections area coordinator for Junction City and Veneta. “I am part of many programs that help keep seniors living independently.”
At this time, Senior Connections is reaching out to the community for volunteers to make a difference in senior’s lives through driving and companion services that help seniors live independently and overcome loneliness.
Sharon is currently seeking volunteers 55 and older who can donate 15 hours or more per week as Senior Companions. This program offers a tax-exempt hourly stipend of $2.65 with meal and mileage reimbursements, but requires training provided by the Senior Companion program through Lane Community College.
A similar program exists called the Elder Health program where volunteer companions donate only several hours a week to assist seniors with grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions or to simply “play cards, wash dishes and garden with seniors,” Sharon said.
Another volunteer opportunity that Sharon is recruiting drivers for is the Escort Medical Ride Program assisting seniors unable to drive to their appointments.
Aside from recruiting volunteers, Senior Connections also provides services such as Option Counseling for long-term care. “We meet with a consumer and talk about all the options for future planning,” Sharon said, including legal issues, health care, how to maintain one’s self in the home or transition to another living arrangement.
Through education, Sharon said, “It’s been shown that this service helps keep seniors living independently and making their own decisions,” which prevents hopelessness and gives them empowerment over their lives.
Senior Connections also evaluates seniors for home food services through Meals on Wheels and also provides respite care and more to assist caregivers.
To volunteer for the Senior Companion program call 541.463.6260 or visit www.lanecc.edu/scp. To volunteer for the Elder Health program, contact Carole Ford at 541.682.3793 or by email at cford@lcog.org.
To volunteer as an escort driver or to sign up for any of these services or to get more information about them, contact Sharon Seiler at Viking Sal Senior Center on 245 W. 5th Ave. on Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-3pm or call 541.998.8445.

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County Health : County Sees High Tobacco Rates And Increasing STDS

Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin

 

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By Vera Westbrook
LANE COUNTY – Lane County commissioners reviewed county health data that presented updated information about mortality, morbidity and prevention.
Dr. Patrick Leudtke, medical director of the Lane County Department of Health and Human Services, presented the following information at a May 7 meeting.
The leading causes of death in the nation occur in this order: heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung disease. In Lane County, deaths occur in the order of cancer, heart disease, lung disease and stroke. High county cancer and lung disease rates are attributed to higher county tobacco use rates, above the state and national averages, Leudtke said.
The Lane County Tobacco Fact Sheet for 2011 claims the county spent $127 million on medical care for tobacco-related illnesses and $116 million on lost productivity including tobacco-related death. Furthermore, since 70 percent of smokers begin before age 18 and 90 percent begin before age 24, smoking cessation should start with youths,
Leudtke presented solutions such as an increase in taxes on all tobacco products (cigarettes, pipe and chew), a decrease in access of tobacco products to youths, a reduction of air smoke on city and county property, and sting operations to target merchants not checking IDs during tobacco sales.
Also discussed were several bills recently passed by the State Legislature that affect health.
House Bill 2870 brings a tobacco tax into the county, which may reduce the high county smoking rates. The national average for smoking adults is 17-18 percent, with Lane County smokers double that average. In Lane County, 50,492 adults smoke regularly.
Another bill, Senate Bill 132, attempts to decrease immunization exemptions. This bill will help Oregon avoid large outbreaks of whooping cough similar to recent outbreaks in California and Washington—the worst outbreaks since the 1940s.  The concern here is that Lane County has the third worst immunization rate in the state and that Oregon has the worst rate of nonmedical immunization exemptions in the country for kindergartners.
Data about rising sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates were also presented. Chlamydia continues to rise in women while gonorrhea is increasing in everyone.
“We’ve gone from 40 cases to 160 cases projected for this year,” Leudtke said referring to gonorrhea—a 400 percent increase. “It’s not an issue of a growing population, it’s an issue of the disease spreading,” since the total population only increased less than 1 percent.
Syphilis in Lane County is also on the rise, but not as high as Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, which have seen several hundred cases between the three of them, Leudtke said, mostly among homosexual men. He predicts the disease will soon spread to the heterosexual population.
On May 23, health care providers are invited to an STD summit where topics will include disease outbreaks and their locations along with treatment options and prevention.

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Territorial Heartland – Putting in the Doggie Station 043

The Doggie Station Is Installed

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

photo by Edie Moro  The first class of the Ford Institute Leadership Program raised enough money to purchase four benches, plus the doggie station for Lyle-Day Park.

photo by Edie Moro
The first class of the Ford Institute Leadership Program raised enough money to purchase four benches, plus the doggie station for Lyle-Day Park.

By Edie Moro
Lyle-Day Park was the site of intense activity the morning of May 4. Participants of the first cohort of the Ford Institute Leadership Program in Junction City and Harrisburg gathered by the tennis courts to install a doggie station.
This was the culmination of the leadership program that began in the fall of 2011. Members of this ‘Territorial Heartland’ cohort learned leadership skills, bonded as a group, and raised funds for our chosen project – to enhance Lyle-Day Park in Junction City and Priceboro Park in Harrisburg. Together with the Ford Family Foundation of Roseburg, the group raised enough money to purchase two benches for each park, plus the doggie station for Lyle-Day Park. Priceboro Park already has a doggie station.
The Ford Institute Leadership Program is fully funded by the Ford Family Foundation, and is taught by Rural Development Initiatives, Inc.  It is a five-year program to promote vitality in rural Oregon communities by building a base of community leaders and effective organizations. Years 1, 3, and 5 are devoted to leadership development. The second (Year 3) leadership development program is coming up this fall, with enrollment for this program ending on June 15. It is open to anyone who lives or works in the Junction City/Harrisburg area, from high school sophomores to retired folks.
For more information about the program, contact Rick Kissock at the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce, 541-998-6154.

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BlackSpot_onRose

Is There A Safe Organic Fungicide?

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

Contributed Photo Rose leaves plagued by a garden fungus, causing ugly discolored spots and stunted growth.

Contributed Photo
Rose leaves plagued by a garden fungus, causing ugly discolored spots and stunted growth.

By: Edie Moro
Those of us who love roses also know the heartache of black spot. Healthy green leaves succumb to dark spots surrounded by yellow and then they fall off. Those of us who love to grow squashes, cucumbers and melons watch in dismay as fuzzy gray spots discolor leaves and stunt or kill our favorite veggies. We need ‘Superfungicide’ to come to our rescue.
The question is, “What type of fungicide is safe for us, for our plants, and for the environment?” Bordeaux mix (copper sulfate mixed with lime) has been used for more than 150 years to combat fungal diseases of grapes. Readily available, copper sulfate is very effective in controlling a host of fungal diseases. However, it is easily absorbed through the skin, lungs or eyes, and is highly toxic, not just to humans but to other animals and fish. It is not a comfort to think that vineyard workers who die of liver disease might have gotten it from this fungicide, rather than from drinking too much of their product. While copper compounds dissolve readily in water, they quickly adsorb to soil particles, so do not tend to percolate into ground water. However, this means that copper can build up in the soil, decreasing its fertility. It doesn’t sound like copper fungicide is what “Superfungicide” would use.
Sulfur is another naturally occurring element useful in controlling plant diseases. It comes in dust, wettable powder, and liquid forms, and is very effective when used properly. The trick with sulfur is to apply it before a disease rears its ugly head, as it is much better at preventing diseases rather than curing them. Who can remember that? Plus, aside from smelling like rotten eggs and harsh on skin and lungs, sulfur is also harsh to many plants. Also, don’t use if you’ve sprayed oils within a month, or if temperatures are over 80°F. Who can keep track? This doesn’t sound like a candidate for “Superfungicide” either.
Horticultural oils and neem oil are effective on powdery mildew but not on other fungal diseases. They can indirectly control viral diseases by killing the insects that transmit these diseases as they feed on your plants. The oils can not be used in high (over 90°F) or low (under 40°F) temperatures, and some plants are sensitive to them.
Maybe “Superfungicide” should just turn in her green cape. Wait a minute. Could it be? Yes, here comes “Superfungicide” with another class of fungicides, ones that are safe for humans (we actually put some of them in our food), safe for plants (some of them act as fertilizer), and safe for the environment. What could this be? Bicarbonate. That’s right, common baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), potassium bicarbonate, and ammonium bicarbonate all act as fungicides. You can even mix up your own, using 4 teaspoons of baking soda per gallon of water, and spraying every 3-4 days to prevent diseases in roses, cucurbits (cukes, melons & squash), and other plants.
The question is, “Can something this simple and safe be effective?” Of the three bicarbonate compounds, each is more effective on some types of plants or diseases and less effective for others. Baking soda is somewhere in the upper middle. Effectiveness increases with the addition of a tablespoon of insecticidal soap, household soap, or horticultural oil as a surfactant to keep it on the plant’s leaves. Some over-the-counter bicarbonate fungicides come with the surfactant added.
Whatever fungicide you chose to use, read and follow the instructions on the label. Do NOT deviate from the dilution rate or spray interval for your fungicide, or you may end up frying your plants. “Superfungicide” can only recommend – she is not there to make sure you follow directions.

Edie Moro is a local landscape consultant and designer and JC Garden Club member. She can be reached at 541.998.8852 or by email at ediesgardens@gmail.com.

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The Meaning of UFF DA!

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

By Noel Ness
The wife and I have a plaque hanging on the wall next to our kitchen back door. Our plaque states the following:
The Ten Commandments Minnesota Style
1. Der’s only one God ya know.
2. Don’t make the fish on yer mantle an idol.
3. Cussin’ isn’t Minnesota nice.
4. Go to church even when yer up nort.
5. Honor yer folks.
6. Don’t kill – catch and release.
7. Der‘s only one Lena for every Ole. No cheatin’.
8. If it ain’t your lutefisk, don’t take it.
9. Don’t be bragging’ bout how much snow you shoveled.
10. Keep your mind off yer neighbor’s hot dish.
I don’t know who wrote these wise commandments but they are words to live by. I confess if I catch a walleye I’m keeping it!
Cussin’ isn’t Minnesota nice. I have two sayings I use whenever have the urge to cuss.  Let’s say I hit my thumb with a hammer. I don’t use swear words. I say “God Bless America or UFF DA!”
And don’t worry about me taking your Lutefisk. Your hot dish is a whole different ball game. I love hot dish. Hey, I’m from Minnesota.
I say Uff Da a lot and folks are always asking me what it means. So I instructed my low paid research assistant Wendy Wikipedia to find me some answers. Wendy said that Uff Da (sometimes also spelled huffda, uff-da, uffda, uff-dah, oofda, ufda, ufdah, oofta, uf daa, or ufta) is an expression of Norwegian origin adopted by Scandinavian-Americans in the 19th century. It is an exclamation that is relatively common in parts of the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwestern states. The Northwest is plum full of Scandinavians. Uff Da is used as a term for sensory overload. It can be used to express astonishment, surprise, exhaustion, frustration or relief. It can also be used as an alternate for most swear words. Example: “Uff Da, look at all that snow outside that I now must shovel.”   Mike and Judy, two friends of mine, were vacationing in Mexico. They were lying on a beach and saw a man get hit by a huge wave and go head over heals. He struggled back to the beach and said “UFF DA!” Mike and Judy got a big laugh out of that because they’ve heard me say it so much. They never expected to hear UFF DA on a beach in Mexico.
I really wish I knew who wrote the following: The Meaning of “UFF DA” and give the credit he or she deserve because the sayings are Minnesota right on. It’s on a post card I have from Bergquists’ Scandinavian Imports – Cloquet, Minnesota. So here we go.
1. Trying to dance the polka to rock and roll music.
2. Losing your wad of gum in the chicken yard.
3. Having Swedish meatballs at a Lutefisk supper.
4. Spending two hours cleaning up my room and Mom says “UFF DA.”
5. Walking downtown and then wondering what you wanted.
6. Arriving late at a Lutefisk supper and getting served minced ham instead.
7. Looking in the mirror and discovering you’re not getting better, you’re just getting older.
8. Trying to pour two buckets of manure into one bucket.
9. Having a mouse crawl up your leg when you’re on a hay load.
10. Eating hot soup when you’ve got a runny nose.
11. Getting out of bed in the morning with a backache.
12. Getting swished in the face with a cow’s wet tail.
13. Waking yourself up in church with your own snoring.
14. Forgetting your Mother-In-Law’s first name.
15. When two steady girlfriends find out about each other.
16. Noticing non-Norwegians at a church dinner using lefsa for a napkin.
17. Eating a delicious sandwich and then discover the spread is cat food.
18. Sneezing so hard that your false teeth end up in the bread plate.
19. NOT being Norwegian.
Well that deserves a big UFF DA!
Every ethnic group has their own term for UFF DA.

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The Power Of Appeal: City council overturns planning commission’s decision on resort

The Power Of Appeal: City council overturns planning commission’s decision on resort

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

photo by  Vera Westbrook Religious land use litigator Wendie Kellington represents Life Bible Church at the May 8 Harrisburg City Council meeting where she presented facts that would allow the church to be located in an industrial zone. She quoted a letter sent to the city by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that advised the city to reverse the Planning Commission’s March 19 decision or face a lawsuit.

photo by Vera Westbrook
Religious land use litigator Wendie Kellington represents Life Bible Church at the May 8 Harrisburg City Council meeting where she presented facts that would allow the church to be located in an industrial zone. She quoted a letter sent to the city by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that advised the city to reverse the Planning Commission’s March 19 decision or face a lawsuit.

By Vera Westbrook
HARRISBURG – The City Council overrode a decision made by the Planning Commission to deny an application for a Conditional Use Permit submitted by Life Bible Church concerning the River Bend Resort property.
Considering new information presented in a de novo hearing on May 8, the City Council voted to allow Life Bible to convert the resort into a church and add a sanctuary. The Council determined that the church was allowed as an ‘outright use’ without a Conditional Use Permit. The proposed site plan for the sanctuary and revisions to parking must still be reviewed by the Planning Commission.
The decision came about after almost four hours of public hearing and deliberation where new information came to light presented by Life Bible’s attorney Wendie Kellington—a religious land use litigator—regarding uses listed in Harrisburg Municipal Code Chapter 18.45 under Heavy Industrial Zone M-2, the zone of the resort on 23650 Peoria Rd.
“Staff is mistaken about the meaning of the industrial district’s permitted outright uses,” Kellington said, referring to Section 18.15.010 titled ‘Uses permitted.’
The Code states the following M-2 uses: “a use permitted outright in an M-1 zone” and “any other use, except a use listed in HMC 18.45.020 (Conditional uses permitted) or which has been declared a nuisance by statute. . .” Churches are neither listed under zone M-1 outright uses nor are they the exception. What’s left is ‘any other use’—an outright use.
She also pointed out that “the location, size, design and operating characteristics of this proposed development shall be compatible with and not adversely affect the livability of appropriate development of abutting properties and the surrounding neighborhood.”
Because the city has received no complaints about the resort, Kellington said, “A church should be less of an issue for neighbors,” since church activities are similar to the previously approved resort activities.
The attorney also presented facts explaining why federal law—the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)—requires that Life Bible be treated the same as the resort.
She referenced a letter sent to the city written by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberties, the nation’s leading religious liberties law firm located in Washington D.C., that said: “Because the city has already approved the site for a place of significant assembly—a large riverfront resort—RLUIPA prohibits the city from refusing to approve the church’s proposal on the basis that the resort will be used for religious purposes or that the applicant is a church.”
This letter also advised the city to reverse the Planning Commission’s decision and approve Life Bible’s proposal by saying: “Unless you approve the proposal, the city will face significant financial liability under federal civil rights laws that protect the rights of religious organizations to use land. . . Cities that violate RLUIPA face severe consequences.”
The attorney then concluded that the city’s only option was to reverse the Planning Commission’s decision and approve Life Bible’s proposal.
Former resort owner Tony Cross presented opposition to the church’s proposal during the public hearing and said, “You will be selling the resort short by not letting it come to its full potential,” with the resort serving the community better as public property.
Church administrator Ron Ritchie explained future resort plans of making half the motel and RV spots available for public use. After adding additional parking, the church plans to retain about 56 of the current 95 RV spaces and will continue paying taxes on any income earned.
Councilors presented their opinions. “Legally we are obligated to abide by what our ordinance says,” Councilor Sarah Puls said, referring to the ‘any other use’ phrase in the M-2 zone permitted uses. “By not allowing this to happen, we can’t afford to get sued,” nor can the city afford an attorney to fight RLUIPA.
Some councilors had concerns about the future of the church located in an industrial zone. Councilor Kim Downey said, “I am concerned how the church will handle complaints or dust as industry is created around them.”
Downey specifically referred to the city’s expansion of wastewater disposal in nearby poplar trees near the resort. She also brought up the river erosion factor, a problem the resort has dealt with in the past. She recommended approving the Conditional Use Permit with restrictions.
The Council voted 5-1 in favor of the church with Councilor Don Shipley dissenting. The moIMG_8981tion reversed the Planning Commission’s March 19 decision and remanded the decision back to the Planning Commission for a site plan review scheduled for the June 18 meeting.
City Administrator Bruce Cleeton said: “River Bend Resort needed to move forward. Something needed to happen after this period of time. A buyer needed to come in and make a bigger effort to make this property successful, or we needed to move on to something else. Having a community minded church there will definitely be better than having River Bend Resort deteriorate.”
In the future, city staff plans to update the ambiguous wording under zone M-2 permitted uses to avoid similar misunderstandings, as ‘any other use’ should be worded to refer to compatible industrial uses.

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Working Together; School district seeks ways to meet staffing need

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

Harrisburg School District Budget Committee Chair Todd Culver opens the May 6 budget meeting by explaining to the audience that parents, administrators, teachers, classified staff, the budget committee and the board of directors are all in this together. “We are all trying to get to the same point—a balanced budget to give the best education to our children,” Culver says. Superintendent Brian Wolf sits to his right.

Harrisburg School District Budget Committee Chair Todd Culver opens the May 6 budget meeting by explaining to the audience that parents, administrators, teachers, classified staff, the budget committee and the board of directors are all in this together. “We are all trying to get to the same point—a balanced budget to give the best education to our children,” Culver says. Superintendent Brian Wolf sits to his right.

By Vera Westbrook
HARRISBURG – When budget committee member Bob Bronson made a motion to approve the 2013-14 budget for the Harrisburg School District at the May 6 meeting and nobody seconded the motion, the audience was silent.
The motion followed an emotional discussion about the importance of retaining the Special Education Program at the elementary school for children with disabilities as is, with parents, staff and teachers contributing.
Because of an increasing special education population at the high school projected up to 54 students out of 270 total kids, a proposal to move a teaching position to the high school from the elementary school was being considered for next year.
Superintendent Brian Wolf rationalized the move by reporting projected staffing ratios for next year that calculated 5.4 students per FTE (full-time equivalency) teacher at the elementary school, 5.2 at the middle school and 10.4 at the high school. The new plan would increase special education teachers from 1.59 FTE to 2 FTE at the high school next year.
He reiterated that the elementary school Life Skills Program for special needs kids would not be going away, as it would still have 1 FTE teacher managing a projected 33-37 students, with the assistance of numerous educational assistants. One teacher would be teaching a Life Skills class for severely disabled kids and a Resource Room class with less severe kids in two adjoining classrooms with a large door in between. Some parents disagreed with the change.
“What you have in place is working so well, it’s a shame to have it torn apart,” said Jodie Cervantes, parent to a severely disabled Down Syndrome child in the elementary school Life Skills class who has advanced over the years from using sign language to speaking. Jodie said she is not qualified to teach her child these skills at home.
Following no second to the motion to approve the budget, board member Randy Klemm came up with a solution and proceeded to read the budget document line-by-line where he found potential small district-wide cuts such as reducing the number of copy machines and cutting consumable supplies.
“I know there are people in this community—myself being one—who would like to step up and help out with those consumable supplies,” Klemm said.
He also made suggestions such as fundraising for the cheerleading fund and decreasing the new book fund, with small cuts amounting to more than $30,000. The committee recommended looking at the budget document to make small cuts to retain the special education teaching position at the elementary school after budget approval.
Budget committee member Darrin Yeager cautioned the district that these cuts may adversely affect next year’s budget and encouraged the committee to make a plan for next year. Without a plan in place, proposing supply cuts could be problematic.
The budget committee also voted to move $150,000 from the Unappropriated Ending Fund Balance into the Contingency Fund to make funds readily available if needed. The School District is also waiting for news from the State Legislature in June about state education funds, which will most likely supplement next year’s budget.
The budget committee voted to approve the budget at $9,255,787 to be adopted at the June 10 board meeting.

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A Plan Not A Promise; School District Makes Additions To 2013-14 Budget

Posted on 14 May 2013 by admin

By Vera WestbrookIMG_8929
JUNCTION CITY – In next year’s budget message, the local school district superintendent announced that the District will likely maintain or slightly increase staff in the coming year. Superintendent Kathleen Rodden- Nord opened the May 6 budget meeting with her message accompanied by the following information.
A proposed state school funding level of $6.55 billion for the 2013-15 biennium—that the State Legislature has yet to approve in June—will likely increase staff and provide students with a full school year, a comprehensive academic program and support for enrichment/extracurricular activities.
While state funding may increase revenue, rising PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) rates will cause a $500,000 increase in expenditures. The Legislature is currently reforming the PERS program and may decrease that amount by June.
The following items refer to the General Fund, the largest fund in the budget.
Classified staff hours and part-time licensed FTE (full-time equivalency) added last year as ‘temporaries’ have been added to this year’s budget as ‘regular’ additions. Because of a steady staff, the unemployment rate did not go up.
Other additions include funding instructional assistant positions that otherwise would be affected by reduced Federal Title I/II funding due to sequestration and declining funds for the 21st Century Schools Program grant.
More additions include an elementary increase of 0.5 FTE elementary ELD (English language development) specialist, a half-time counselor at Oaklea and a part-time licensed teaching FTE at each school. Tier 1 additions include six high school department head positions and five technology support positions district wide.
The General Fund will also support 25 percent of the afterschool programs at the middle and high schools. The proposed 2013-14 total General Fund budget amounted to $15,178,361.
The 2013-14 proposed District budget also includes a new Capital Projects Fund estimated at $41,686,000 if voters pass a facilities bond measure planned for the November ballot.
“Should the levy pass, this fund will allow us to sell the bonds and begin with levy projects,” School District Business Manager Wanda McClure said. “Should the levy fail—we just won’t use it.” The Facilities Steering Committee will meet on May 13 to determine which projects, if any, will be on the ballot.
Referring to uncertainties in the budget, McClure reminded the committee: “The budget is a plan. It’s what you think might happen. You can budget for an item in anticipation of possibly needing it, but if you don’t need it, you don’t have to use it. We give it our best guess. It is a plan and it will change.”
The budget committee approved the School District’s 2013-14 budget that will now go before the Board of Directors for a public hearing and possible adoption on June 24. The superintendent’s budget message and the approved 2013-14 budget can be found on the District’s website at www.junctioncity.k12.or.us/super_budget_msg.html.

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