March 13, 2015

I, along with Police Chief Terry Holderness, Deputy Chief Warren Hensman, Community Development Director Bill Molnar, Code Compliance Officer Kevin Flynn and Councilor Greg Lemhouse met on Wednesday with property owners on Will Dodge Way to discuss ongoing late-night problems they attribute to the Vinyl Club. The Vinyl Club has been cited for noise ordinance violations and is scheduled to appear in Municipal Court on March 24. If the court upholds the citation, it will reinforce an important tool the police have for dealing with the Will Dodge Way issues. A number of other suggestions were discussed (including requiring a conditional use permit for all bars and nightclubs or for any establishment serving alcohol), however it was agreed that we should wait for the outcome of the Vinyl Club’s citation.

Police Department
Officer Jamie Broome has been chosen by the Oregon DUII Multi-Disciplinary Training Task Force for their 2014 DUII Enforcement Officer of the Year award. This is a statewide award and Jamie is being recognized as the top DUII municipal police department officer in the state. He will receive the award on April 24th at the task force’s annual training conference.
The Police Department made another arrest last night for theft of one of its bait bikes. This one was unusual in that the suspect admitted to being aware of the program and suspected it might be a bait bike but took it anyway. (Hopefully next time he will listen to himself and not take other peoples bikes.)
Following are entries made this week in the Police Department’s performance tracking system;

Supervisor Compliment for Officer John Perrone (49666) occurred on 3/7/2015
Entered by Sergeant Arthur LeCours (32767) on 3/12/2015
I want to recognize Detective Perrone for his work over the last several months. The Hannah Thomas-Garner case was of main concern to the community of Ashland. Detective Perrone was one the initial Detectives assigned to the case. He spent several hours, if not hundreds of hours, assisting with the investigation of the case.

Detective Perrone made several contacts in the community as well as other law enforcement agencies both inside and outside of Oregon. His professionalism with the community and LE agencies helped to maintain an open line of communication during times of unrest.

Detective Perrone placed many higher priority cases on hold to assist the community, other agencies and family members. In addition, the Thomas-Garner case, he handled incoming cases as well as arresting a serial sex-offender; serving three search warrants at three different locations.

His professionalism during this time shows he is an asset to the Ashland Police Department as well as an integral detective in the Criminal Investigation Division.

Supervisor Compliment for Officer Scott Marical (50764) occurred on 3/7/2015
Entered by Sergeant Arthur LeCours (32767) on 3/12/2015
I want to recognize Detective Marical for his work during the past several months. He was promoted to detectives on January 5 and was immediately reassigned to the “runaway case of 2014.” He spent hours, if not hundreds of hours, on the case conducting follow-up, re-interviewing individuals, contacting local agencies as well as agencies across the country. He maintained a positive and professional relationship with members of the media, family and “Team Hannah.”

Det. Marical also maintained his normal caseload as well as taking on new cases and being called out for three different incidents in a two-month period.

His dedication, professionalism and teamwork have made him stand out as an integral member of the Ashland Police Department and the Criminal Investigations Division

Below is a thank you letter received this week from students from Helman Elementary School following a tour of the Police Department;

Public Works Department
We learned today that Pilot Rock Excavation, which did the excavation and pipe installation for the TAP project last year, has won the prestigious Daily Journal of Commerce “top projects of 2014” competition for municipal infrastructure project of the year. They are scheduled to receive the award on May 14 in Portland. Pilot Rock certainly deserves the recognition. Their remarkably quick and efficient work made it possible to finish the TAP project on time.
Public Works crews continue to deal with the effects of the Western Pine Beetle. This week, Water Distribution crews worked with Parks Department crews to remove a dead pine tree near the Alsing Reservoir (Upper Tolman Creek Road). The property line runs very close to this tree so before we were able to remove it, the property line was surveyed by the Public Works Engineering Division. The result of the survey showed both large trees pictured below are on City property and are therefore the  responsibility of the City. The tree to the right was dead and was removed this week. According to arborists we’ve worked with, it’s possible for trees infected by the beetles to have the top of the tree die and the rest of the tree to survive. The tree on the right was clearly dead but we’re hoping the tree pictured on the left will survive. We don’t want to remove any trees we don’t have to, so we’ll keep a close eye on the remaining tree and hope that it doesn’t get any worse. If the tree does get worse, unfortunately it will also have to be removed.

These two trees are just two of many on this hillside showing signs of beetle infestation, however these are the only two trees on City property. The remaining trees are on private property and are therefore the responsibility of the property owner. So far this year we have removed ten trees that have been killed by the Western Pine Beetle. In mid-February nine trees were removed from Mountain View Cemetery (across from Fire Station 2). We are keeping close eye on four more trees in the cemetery and on one more tree near Alsing Reservoir. We’re hopeful the remaining trees will survive but more than likely we’ll be removing more trees later this year.
When the trees are removed, in order to reduce the spread of the beetles, the wood has to be hauled to Bio Mass One in White City. Bio Mass One converts the wood into electricity and steam used here in the Rogue Valley by burning it in a wood fired co-generation plant. Burning the wood kills the beetles and reduces the chance of a further infestation in the area. Typically the beetles infest the trunk of the tree, so the trunks are cut into sections and hauled to White City. The branches of the trees are removed and fed into the chipper. In this case the wood chips were also hauled to White City. When we removed the trees in the cemetery, the wood chips were used on the roads and paths in the cemetery as mulch. 
In the picture here, Zack Dauenhauer from the Water Distribution Crew can be seen feeding branches removed from the beetle-killed tree into the wood chipper.

Parks Department
Below is a note received from some citizen gardners, expressing their appreciation for the new community gardens at Ashland Creek Park.

Previous Updates:

March 6, 2015

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