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Rally set to 'take back the town'

Organizers of a Friday "take back the town" effort are hoping to get a conversation going among Medford citizens, homeless people and city leaders.

Facebook "Jackson County Scanner Group" administrator Ryan Mallory is rallying community members to meet on the steps of the old Carnegie library building near Alba Park at noon Friday.

A flier, which he says reached some 50,000 social media users in the Medford area, declared, "When Safety is no Longer a Walk in the Park."

Burglaries, car break-ins, vandalism and drug use in city parks, plus a seeming "revolving door" at the county jail, are daily topics of discussion on his Facebook page, Mallory said.

He said the rally would address issues over the past year relating to aggressive transients camping and loitering in city parks, leaving trash and defecating or urinating in public areas.

Mallory said the rally would tackle everything from drugs, trash and vandalism in parks to fires and how to deal with known violent and sexual offenders frequenting community parks.

The event is open, the flier states, to all "citizens, business owners, civic servants, government and law enforcement."

Mallory said he planned to send personal invitations to all Jackson County commissioners, Jackson County Sheriff's Department officials, Medford City Council and parks commission members, city police and the city manager.

Medford leaders have enacted ordinances in an attempt to curb bad behavior in the parks and the downtown. Police are allowed to ban people from those areas for such behaviors as drunkenness, sex offenses, criminal mischief, graffiti, failure to control dangerous dogs, public urination, harassment, menacing and theft. Sleeping or camping in the downtown doesn't trigger a ban, however.

Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.