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Britt brings back '70s, '80s stars in 2005

JACKSONVILLE - Beach Boy Brian Wilson, bluegrass legend — Earl Scruggs and 12-time Grammy winner Tony Bennett highlight the Britt — Festivals' 2005 season, its 43rd under the stars in Jacksonville.

Announced Thursday, the season will include three concerts — in the new 5,900-seat Lithia Motors Amphitheater in Central Point. ZZ — Top, B.B. King and Steve Miller are the artists booked for the amphitheater — so far, with more concerts set to be announced later this spring.

On the Britt hillside, Boz Scaggs, Doobie Brothers, Diane — Schuur, Al Stewart, Jonny Lang and America lend their weight to the bill, — along with the B-52's, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, John Hiatt, Pink — Martini, Pat Benatar, Bela Fleck and Ani DiFranco.

Britt Festivals is the Pacific Northwest's oldest outdoor — music and performing arts festival. Set among ponderosa pines and native — madrones, the vast hillside estate of gold rush era pioneer Peter Britt — forms a natural amphitheater where internationally renowned artists perform — every summer. For 42 years, Britt's world-class performances, spectacular — views, and casual, relaxing atmosphere have attracted thousands of music — lovers from all over the West.

Tickets go on sale to Britt members March 23, to the public — on May 9.

The summerlong music and dance series opens on June 10 — with 1980s American cult band The Violent Femmes. The band is best known — for its funky folk-punk hits such as "Blister in the Sun" and "Kiss Off."

Closing out the season on the hillside on Sept. 11 is — Tony Bennett, best known for his timeless standards such as "I Left My — Heart In San Francisco." ZZ Top provides the season's grand finale on — Sept. 20 in Central Point.

Comedy Central's "Blue Collar Comedy" star Bill Engvall — takes the stage June 18 with Jamie Kaler, who enjoys recurring roles on — "Will and Grace" and "King of Queens."

The season will also feature two dance companies, STREB — and Garth Fagan Dance.

Fagan's group, now in its 34th year, is internationally — recognized and has received numerous awards, including a 1998 Tony for — Fagan's choreography in Walt Disney's "The Lion King" on Broadway.

STREB's unique brand of dance involves harnesses, ropes — and trampolines. Britt Festivals' Executive Director Ron McUne describes — STREB as "gravity-defying, high-impact, bone- crushing stuff."

The Classical Festival, announced earlier and running — Aug. 5-20, includes Grammy-winning cellist Lynn Harrell, violinist Caitlin — Tully and family concert favorite The Elastic Band.

Ticket prices for reserved seats in Jacksonville range — from a low of $29 for the Orchestra Allstars to a high of $85 for Tony — Bennett. Prices for reserved seats in Central Point average about $60. — Cheaper seats are available on the lawn in both locations.

For more information about Britt, visit its Web site at — www.brittfest.org or call 773-6077 or 1-800-882-7488. Britt's box office — is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 216 W. Main — St., Medford.

Who's coming

All performances are at the Britt Festivals grounds in — Jacksonville unless otherwise noted.

* June 10 - Violent Femmes.

* June 11 - An Evening with Steve Winwood.

* June 18 - Comedians Bill Engvall and Jamie Kaler.

* June 19 - Al Green and Campbell Brothers.

* June 23 - Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

* June 24 - Donovan and Tom Paxton.

* June 25 - Richard Thompson and Jane Siberry.

* June 26 - America and Al Stewart.

* June 29 - The Wallflowers.

* July — - An Evening with the Steve Miller Band, Lithia — Motors Amphitheater.

* July 2 - Pink Martini and Paris Combo.

* July — - Rising Stars: The Waifs, Jackie Greene, The — Duhks.

* July 13 - John Hiatt and North Mississippi Allstars.

* July 14 - The B-52's.

* July 15 - Randy Travis.

* July 17 - Chris Isaak.

* July 18 - Boz Scaggs.

* July 21 - Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo.

* July 22 - An Evening with the Kingston Trio.

* July 23 - Poco and Pure Prairie League.

* July 24 - Marc Cohn and Suzanne Vega.

* July 26 - Tears for Fears.

* July 28 - Mark Knopfler.

* July 29 - Earl Scruggs.

* Aug. 5 - Classical Opening Night Gala with Caitlin Tully — and Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 6 - Lynn Harrell with the Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 8 - Arianna String Quartet, Southern Oregon University — Music Recital Hall.

* Aug. 11 - B.B. King Blues Festival "80th Birthday Celebration" — with B.B. King, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Joe Bonamassa, Lithia Motors Amphitheater.

* Aug. 12 - "White Nights - Russian Favorites," with Muza — Rubackyt? and the Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 13 - Orchestra Allstars with the Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 14 - Family Concert with Kevin Hathway, The Elastic — Band and Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 19 - Alvaro Cassuto and Barbara Nissman with the — Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 20 - Leila Josefowicz with the Britt Orchestra.

* Aug. 22 - Doobie Brothers.

* Aug. 23 - Medeski, Martin and Wood.

* Aug. 27 - STREB.

* Aug. 28 - Garth Fagan Dance.

* Aug. 31 - Bela Fleck, Stanley Clarke and Jean-Luc Ponty.

* Sept. — - An Evening with Brian Wilson.

* Sept. 2 - Sara Evans.

* Sept. — - Diane Schuur featuring the Caribbean Jazz — Project.

* Sept. 9 - Jonny Lang.

* Sept. 10 - Ani DiFranco.

* Sept. 11 - An Evening with Tony Bennett.

* Sept. 20 - ZZ Top, Lithia Motors Amphitheater.

The Valley TODAY

Nine to run for school board

ASHLAND - Nine candidates will compete for four open positions — on the Ashland School Board in the May election.

Ruth Alexander and Howard Miller, DVM, both filed for — Position 1, which is currently held by school board chair Amy Amrhein. — Mat Marr plans to challenge incumbent Chuck Keil for Position 3. Three — people - Sue Graham, Amy Patton and Jim Teece - will compete for Position — 4, which current board member Terry Littleton is vacating.

Amrhein, who will vacate her post to run for Position — 5 will go head-to-head with Michael Hays for the seat currently held by — Sheryl Lipski.

Position 5 is a two-year term; the three other positions — are four-year terms.

Heidi Parker will remain in Position 2, the only board — seat not up for reelection this year.

Final day to apply

ASHLAND - Today is the last day to apply to be appointed — to one of the eight open seats on several of the city of Ashland's boards — and commissions.

Citizens of Ashland have until the close of business today — to apply for a seat on: the housing commission; the planning commission; — the public art commission; the traffic safety commission; the tree commission; — AFN; the airport commission; and the forest lands commission.

All applications received by today will then be forwarded — to Mayor John Morrison and the city council for their review.

The mayor will appoint or re-appoint people to these commissions — at the April 19 city council meeting.

Wal-Mart appeal

MEDFORD - The Medford City Council voted unanimously Thursday — to appeal the recent Land Use Board of Appeals decision that remanded — the Wal-Mart case back to the City Council.

Councilwoman Claudette Moore pointed out that part of — the intention of sending the case to the Court of Appeals was to try to — bring the parties together.

"There may be a mediation process we can go through sitting — at the table with Wal-Mart," she said.

Councilman Bob Strosser said that, in addition, there — are things that need exploring.

"I think there are different legal opinions," he said.

LUBA determined March 11 that the Council exceeded its — authority in rejecting plans for the 207,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter — to be built at the former site of Miles Field on Highway 99.

The Council had determined the project was incompatible — with the neighborhood based on its size and design.

LUBA also ruled the city illegally rejected an appeal — from property owners concerned about the project's impacts on traffic.

Applegate amphitheater will stay

APPLEGATE - A county hearings officer ruled this week — that Applegate Christian Fellowship can keep its main amphitheater as — part of the church's plans to restore a creek restricted by years of development.

Referring to one Applegate resident's characterization — of the amphitheater as an "800-pound gorilla," Jackson County hearings — officer Paul Nolte stated the structure falls under 1980s regulations, — which don't require a conditional use permit.

"The argument by opponents fails because the amphitheater — was a lawful use when it was developed, even though the applicant failed — to get the required floodplain permit," Nolte stated in his final decision.

Joe Stroble, facility manager at the church, said, "We're — looking forward to complying with everything that Jackson County is requiring — of us."

The ruling, barring any appeal, paves the way for removing — the nearby children's amphitheater, removing or replacing three bridges, — increasing the width of the floodplain and removing other structures in — the 50-foot riparian setback.

The ruling culminates attempts by county officials to — find a way to correct years of expansion at the church that have led to — the shrinking of Forest Creek to a quarter of its original width.

- Staff reports