Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

You might notice some activity on the Union Pacific property in the Railroad District next week, as CH2MHill, UP’s remediation contractor, will be on site to cut down tall grass, remove a defunct well and perform some other clean-up.  This does not suggest that UP is moving forward with the full remediation project; this is just a little housekeeping.

Information Technology Department - Information Systems Division
The City’s upgrade to the Windows 7 operating system is underway. The new operating system environment replaces the outdated and no-longer-supported Windows XP environment (over 12 years old). Windows 7 is a modern, reliable platform providing support for today’s and tomorrow’s applications. Purchases are in progress for the volume licensing with Microsoft as well as a limited number of replacement computers and memory upgrades. Information Systems personnel have been trained and are ready for the large effort required to make the transition to Windows 7 a success.  The Citywide roll-out schedule is in final development with completion of the roll-out planned for March, 31, 2014.
 Information Systems staff responded quickly to challenging issues with the Water Treatment Plant’s SCADA network last week.   Monitoring and control devices were experiencing network issues between buildings. The issues surrounding the SCADA network had the potential to require Public Works to staff the monitored locations in off-hours. IS and Telecom worked with Public Works, made network topology changes, swapped in new network equipment, and reconfigured remote access. The issues were successfully resolved through a coordinated team effort.

Fire Department
Ashland Fire & Rescue promotes an annual essay contest in 4th grade classrooms in Ashland. The essay gives students an opportunity to integrate their writing skills with educating their family on fire safety topics. The topic for the contest follows the national theme.  This year’s them was “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” Two students were selected as contest winners – Ava Daniel, Bellview Elementary School and Lauren Juliette Scott Andrews, Walker Elementary School. The writers included kitchen safety tips such as “don’t throw water on a [sic] oil fire accident!” and “if you get a fire in a pan grab the lid (if it has one) and cover it, it will go out because it will sufficate [sic].” One created a story about a kid who endured a kitchen fire and closed with, “Don’t end up like him be SAFE.” 

(Below: Contest winner Ava Daniel with firefighter Marshall Rasor.​)

(Below: Contest winner Lauren Juliette Scott-Andrews with teacher Jennifer Parks and firefighters Todd Beck, Ron Garfas-Knowles and Curt Formolo.​)


Police Department
The Southern Oregon Sexual Assault Symposium is next Monday and Tuesday.  This year 129 people have registered to attend; a big increase over last year when 95 people attended.  This has become the premier sexual assault training event in Oregon with close to 80% of people attending coming from outside of the area, the most distant coming from North Dakota.  The largest group from outside of Jackson County is a group of six from the Portland Police Department.  The largest increase in attendance is from major universities.  While SOU has always sent people, this year the U of O, OSU, PSU, Willamette, Pacific University and Linfield are all sending people.  As always, the entire program is funded by a combination of grants and registration fees.    
Today the Police Department received a request from the Response Systems Panel which is a panel set up by Congress to make recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to improve the DOD’s response to sexual assault.  They have invited us to send someone from our department to one of their committee meetings in Austin Texas on 12-11-13.  We were recommended to them by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for our You Have Options program.   The entire cost of the trip will of course be paid for by them.
The Police Department handled a case this week in which four students from the middle school and one high school student were sending nude and sexually explicit photos to each other.  The department has taken five phones from the students involved as evidence.  Four parents have given permission to have the phones searched and one parent has not.  A search warrant will be obtained for that phone.  While this is technically child pornography, in these cases we generally try to find and destroy the photo files, hopefully before they reach the internet, and let the parents take care of the issue with the children involved. 

Public Works Department
 The sediment dredging project is underway at the East Fork storage pond above Reeder Reservoir.  Crews have installed a temporary steel pipe to divert the creek around the dam, thus allowing the reservoir to be drained.  Time permitting, the West Fork storage pond will also be dredged this year, however our permit requires us to be done with all work by October 31.  Sediment and debris in the West Fork pond has nearly reached the top of the dam.  This project will remove some 5,000 cubic yards of sediment and debris.  While it will increase storage capacity, it has the more important benefit of reducing the amount of sediment that gets into Reeder Reservoir, where it plugs up the works.  Granite Street above Glenview has been closed to vehicles and hikers at Glenview Drive in order to avoid conflicts with the dump trucks that operate non-stop on the roads from the Water Treatment Plant to the upper granite pit where the removed material will be stored.  KOGAP Excavation has the contract for this work.
Here’s an e-mail received by Dave Hogan, one of our Public Works utility workers who maintains the cemeteries:

Mr. Hogan,
      We've lived across the street from the Ashland Cemetery for over
35 years, and we've never seen it so well cared for.  We appreciate the effort and care you take to make it neat and welcoming.  Three cheers to another public employee!
Jim & Becky Martin, Morton St.


Previous Updates:

Friday, October 18, 2013

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