I personally benefit from the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC). I am a Master Gardener (2006), I am currently enrolled in the Master Food Preservers class (2013), I am a member of the "Strong Women, Strong Bones" group that meets three times a week at the Extension Center and a member of the National Association for Family and Community Education — also at the Extension Center.
I would hate to see these programs vanish. The SOREC is a valuable asset here in Jackson County benefiting a huge amount of people and protecting valuable resources in this valley. It must be kept open and it is up to our county commissioners, who have the power, to accomplish this! — Denise A. Stilwell, Medford
Recently, I served on a committee that studied the viability of bringing bus service to Eagle Point. Consultants educated stakeholders on contracting with RVTD or other companies. To estimate ridership, Central Point statistics were used. Although I did not find the two cities comparable, I still favored bus transportation.
Eagle Point property owners would pay 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. This seems modest, but because of changes in the local economy I am concerned about additional taxation.
Eagle Point residents will see increased water rates to replenish the reserve fund used for maintenance. I am fine with this as it is a necessity. I also support the Heritage District to keep museums open.
Of most concern are county finances. By the end of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, there will no longer be a reserve fund. Commissioner Skundrick is proposing a $2 to $10 monthly fee to keep the jail open. Libraries will close and 4-H and other Extension services may also be a thing of the past.
In time, I feel there will be more fees in both Eagle Point and the county. Bus transportation may be a service many households cannot afford or be willing to fund. — Margaret Bradburn, Eagle Point
As co-president of the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Food Preservers in Jackson County, I encourage the Jackson County commissioners to make every effort to continue at least the present level of funding tor the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center and the Experiment Station. I respectfully ask them to help us continue our lifesaving work.
What is a life worth? Every master food preserver has personally saved at least one life and/or has been present when a life was saved. Our research-based information, processes and techniques prevent perhaps fatal foodborne illness every time we demonstrate, answer the telephone or staff a booth or table.
Our information is available free or at nominal cost to everyone in the community without discrimination, and our classes are open to all at a cost substantially less than other classes in Southern Oregon.
We test pressure canners, again preventing devastating or fatal botulism. We also adopt food banks throughout Southern Oregon, visiting the poorest in our community who have the least access to healthy food and safe preservation techniques.
We show them that inexpensive eating does not mean the drive-thru, and can be healthy, fast and delicious. — Jacqueline Marie Greer, 2013 co-president, Jackson County OSU Extension Service Master Food Preservers
Recently I attended the South Medford High fundraiser and I was the successful bidder on several items at the silent auction. One of the items was yard work donated by the H.O.P.E. Club at South Medford High.
Nine students, including two parents, showed up at my place and did a very professional job weed-eating my three-acre parcel. All of the parents of these students should be very proud of instilling such a great work ethic in their children. — Wally Pasnik, Central Point