Jackson County Republicans will host a rally with state and local Republican candidates at 2 p.m. today, at Twin Creeks Crossing, 555 Twin Creeks Crossing Loop, Central Point.

Jackson County Republicans will host a rally with state and local Republican candidates at 2 p.m. today, at Twin Creeks Crossing, 555 Twin Creeks Crossing Loop, Central Point.

Speakers will include state Sen. Doug Whitsett, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, Republican nominee for Secretary of State Knute Buehler and others.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs for the outdoor family event with patriotic music and food. Call 541-770-5277 or visit www.jcrpcc.org.

The annual Jackson County Plastic Roundup will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20, at two locations, The Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point, and Ashland National Guard Armory, 1420 E. Main St., Ashland.

To participate, sort plastics into three types — soft, hard and nursery plastics.

Nursery pots, bubble wrap, baling twine, snack-food bags, cassettes, discs, lawn chairs, toys and irrigation components are among the types of plastics accepted.

The fee is $5 per household; the fee for businesses and large loads is $5 per yard.

For information, including a list of acceptable items and a printable flier, see http://jcrecycle.org.

University Toastmasters is holding an open house for prospective new members who want to improve their speaking or leadership skills at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Gresham Room in the basement of the Ashland library, 410 E. Main St., Ashland.

University Toastmasters is a friendly group that helps members improve speaking, listening and thinking skills in a supportive environment. An evening with Toastmasters offers a set schedule of colorful, prepared speeches, extemporaneous talks, thoughtful support and insightful critique.

For more information on the club or its weekly meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Ashland library, call Clare Winter at 541-499-9908 or email her at clarewinter@mac.com.

Nationally known poet Tony Hoagland will give a reading and talk Thursday, Oct. 18, as part of the Chautauqua Poets & Writers series.

His talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ashland High School's Mountain Avenue Theatre, 201 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

Hoagland is the author of four volumes of poetry and a collection of essays about poetry, and is winner of multiple awards, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, the O.B. Hardisson Award and the Mark Twain Award for humor in American Poetry.

His collection "What Narcissism Means To Me" was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award in poetry in 2004.

Hoagland's latest book, "Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty," is getting positive reviews for his sharp observations of the American experience.

In addition to his reading, Hoagland will offer a writing workshop for high school and college students. He will appear on JPR's Jefferson Exchange radio program at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18.

Tickets are available at Bloomsbury Books and Bookwagon in Ashland, or online at www.ChautauquaWriters.org. General admission is $15 and reserved seats are $20. Student tickets (sold at Ashland High School) are $12.

Coyote Trails School of Nature plans a "Friend-Raiser" volunteer appreciation day from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Coyote Trails' Jefferson Nature Center, inside Medford's U.S. Cellular Community Park on South Pacific Highway.

The event will include horse-drawn hayrides, demonstrations of primitive skills, a Skillet Toss and other games, and tours of the land. It's free and open to the public.

For information, see www.coyotetrails.org.