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The rental housing vacancy rate for the Rogue Valley dipped to 3.75 percent in January, according to a Southern Oregon Rental Owners Association survey of landlords handling 4,721 units.

A year ago, the rental vacancy rate for Jackson and Josephine counties was 5.18 percent.

Don Todd, co-founder of Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, is the featured speaker at the monthly SOROA gathering on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Twin Creeks Retirement Center, 888 Twin Creeks Crossing, Central Point.

Todd will discuss 401(k) accounts and retirement planning. A tenant screening class begins at 5:15 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m.

For dinner reservations, fax 541-858-3081 or call 541-842-7676. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers.

Main Street Boot Camp, similar to those that have helped downtown revivals in more than 2,000 communities across the country, is coming to Medford on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 11 and 12.

The free, two-day effort will focus on organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. "We need to look at successful methods that have worked for other communities that we can utilize," said Heart of Medford Association Executive Director Diane Raymond.

"We have lot of new board members and volunteers, and this will give them a chance to learn the best practices used around the state."

The boot camp, however, is not limited to those two groups. "This isn't unique to our branding effort," Raymond said. "There are a lot of things going on between our economic improvement district effort and Metro Medford campaign. Our goal is to fill the vacant buildings with businesses and customers."

Preregistration is required. Go to msbootcamp2013.eventbrite.com.

Oregon Main Street coordinator Sheri Stuart will talk about preservation and revitalizing the economy. She will address the appearance and image of traditional business districts using a range of services and assistance to meet the needs of communities interested in revitalization.

Scott Day of Urban Development Services which deals with design management and retail economics for commercial revitalization, will discuss the importance of foot traffic.

Compiled from wire reports