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Julien Pellet/Wikimedia

Somehow, even the dry inland parts of our region can be home to many mosquitoes. 

Hang around any grassy area around sunset, and you're likely to get a sense of how prevalent they are. 

Jackson County Vector Control works to keep mosquito populations down through a variety of means.  And some of those means do not pass muster with citizen groups. 

Protect Jackson County, for one, opposes the group of chemicals known as pyrethroids.  We hear both sides of the discussion in turn... Vector Control Manager Jim Lunders checks in first with a sense of the mission of his agency and how it goes about its work. 

Wikimedia

Break out the guitars, it's time to brush up on our skills.  But wait, which guitar style? 

Doesn't matter... an upcoming guitar workshop set up by the Britt Festivals in Medford features styles ranging from classical to Hawaiian slack key. 

And we get the benefit of the assemblage of teachers and styles, as Grant Ruiz, Michael "Hawkeye" Herman, and Joe Thompson bring guitars to the studio for a mini-performance across several general genres. 

Victoria Reed/JPR

A lot of 10-year-old kids spend their free time watching television and playing video games. But Preston Sharp spends most of his in cemeteries. Every Sunday since last November, Preston and his mother have made a trip to Redding Memorial Park to show appreciation -- not only for their own family’s veteran, but for all of the military veterans laid to rest there.

JPR’s Victoria Reed got a first-hand look at Preston’s determination to honor the sacrifices that members of the military have made for their country

Zuzu/Wikimedia

Every approach to government programs gets tweaked from time to time.  Police work is no different. 

Long before Ferguson and all the police/citizen confrontations that have followed, several departments instituted "community policing." 

To better understand what that means, we assembled a panel consisting of Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp, Eureka Police Captain Brian Stephens, and Ashland Police Chief Tighe O'Meara (there may be others). 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Maybe you drive past quickly on your way to the beach, but those wetlands on the coast are important places.

They teem with life, and are important ecosystems for both saltwater and freshwater creatures.  That's why they get considerable attention from people concerned about the environment. 

The Winter Lake Restoration Project in the Coquille River Estuary is about making better habitat for fish and other river dwellers. 

Gifford Photographic Collection

Natural history and the arts collide when the Britt Festivals Orchestra plays at Crater Lake later this week (July 29-30). 

A portion of the orchestra, plus student ensemble, plus chorus, perform a new work called "Natural History." 

The piece is commissioned by Britt and composed by Michael Gordon. 

Featured Works for August – First Concert
(*Indicates August birthday)

Aug 1 M Jerome Moross*: Symphony No. 1
Aug 2 T Paul Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Britt 2015)
Aug 3 W Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Sonata in F major
Aug 4 T Samuel Barber: Second Essay (Britt 2015)
Aug 5 F Leonardo Leo*: Concerto for Four Violins

BLM

No federal agency is responsible for managing as much land as the Bureau of Land Management. 

And no BLM district in the country has more people working for it than the Medford District.  So it's a big job; somebody's got to do it. 

That somebody is now Elizabeth Burghard, appointed to the post this year to replace Dayne Barron. 

Tsunamis are not unknown on the West Coast.  In fact, plenty of people alive today can remember them. 

Like Tom Horning, who nearly lost his life in the 1964 tsunami and decided to return to live in Seaside, Oregon... which could well see another unwelcome visit from the ocean. 

Bonnie Henderson writes about Tom Horning and the potential for disaster in The Next Tsunami, from Oregon State University Press. 

Recent racially-charged killings of black men and white police officers have highlighted old racial frustrations and recriminations. Ominous comparisons are being made to 1968 -- when widespread riots boiled up after the assassination of Martin Luther King -- and people are nervously wondering how far race relations might unravel this summer.

JPR reporter Liam Moriarty offers some personal reflections on how racial identity runs much more than skin-deep ...

Oregon Bottle Deposit To Double Next Spring

Jul 22, 2016
Hillsboro Tribune

The refund Oregonians will get from returning used soda cans and water bottles is about to go up.

This week the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced that it was doubling the redemption value of the Oregon Bottle Bill.

Siskiyou Crest Blog

There's just a bit more than a week (August 1) to comment on the Environmental Assessment for the Nedsbar Forest Management Project on BLM land in the Applegate Valley. 

The alternatives for the project include one provided by the community. 

We heard from BLM and the community alternative assemblers in a previous edition.  Here we get the timber industry perspective from the American Forest Resource Council

Wikimedia

California votes on marijuana for personal use in November, but at the moment, only medical marijuana is legal. 

Just how good is the quality control on the medical pot?  That is the central question in the new "Track and Trace" program. 

Officially the Humboldt Cannabis Pilot Program, it will track and trace marijuana from grower to end user, starting August 1st and running into the autumn. 

randompeopletheatre.org

There may be nothing that excites a performer more than performing on a new stage. 

So excitement is likely rampant at Random People Theater Project in Humboldt County. 

The group, composed of amateurs and old pros, performed for years at the Mateel Center in Redway, but just moved to a new home in Garberville. 

It's not just theater IN the community, it is theater ABOUT the community... Random People encourages stories from the region, written by local people about local people.

truenorthorganizing.org

People seeking justice--economic, social, environmental--have a place on the compass on the North Coast of California. 

True North Organizing Network brings together people who feel marginalized in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. 

Tribal members, immigrants and more have allies in True North. 

staytruetoyou.org

One of the major concerns about marijuana becoming legal for personal use in Oregon was the possibility of younger people getting a hold of the drug.

Opponents of legalization pointed to "edibles," food items laced with marijuana, as a major concern.  Now marijuana AND the edibles are legal in Oregon, and the state Health Authority is launching a campaign to discourage pot use among adolescents. 

The "Stay True to You" campaign targets 12-to-20-year-olds. 

Wikimedia

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry about having a roof over your head. 

But plenty of teens have that worry; enough in the Eugene area to prompt the creation of a shelter for homeless high school students. 

The Saint Vincent De Paul Society of Lane County bought a vacant church in South Eugene with the intention of housing more than a dozen homeless students. 

If all goes as planned, it could open in the fall of 2017. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

If the Earth's problem is too much carbon in the atmosphere and trees soak up carbon, will more trees head off climate change?  Maybe not, according to recently published research

Noah Charney at the University of Arizona and his team find trees all over North America stressed by higher-than-normal temperatures, and stressed trees grow more slowly. 

Mosier Groundwater Contaminated After Oil Train Derailment

Jul 20, 2016
Amelia Templeton/OPB

When a Union Pacific oil train derailed and burst into fire in Mosier, Oregon, in June, the initial damage was in plain view, as dark smoke billowed into the sky.

Now OPB has learned about invisible damage: elevated concentrations of benzene and other volatile organic compounds in groundwater near the derailment site.

ACLU of Washington

The lack of sheriff's deputies in Josephine County creates issues for emergency workers who are NOT officers of the law.  Because the situations that lead to medical and fire calls are often police situations as well. 

And with no police around, emergency crews can find themselves in danger.  That's why the chief at the Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District wants body cameras on his firefighters... to keep a record of potential problems, if not help prevent them. 

Steve Scruggs is getting some help from BodyCameraDonations.com

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