July 31, 2015
As approved and directed by Council, City staff has been working with the Ashland Community Resource Center to develop a job match program for ACRC to use in assisting its clients with job opportunities within the community that can be a stepping stone to more permanent employment. The City has contracted with Project A to develop the software application/website that will be the main portal for those companies and individuals seeking workers and for ACRC staff to use to track and match jobs with the appropriate clients. The software also tracks the quality of the work with an evaluation process. This develops a “starter kit” resume for ACRC clients, builds community support for ACRC programs and puts ACRC clients on the road to longer term stability and success.
Along with the development of the software application (set to go live within two weeks), City staff has been working with a graphic designer to develop outreach materials to drive traffic to the website. This includes ad placement in local publications, postcards and full page flyers. All of the materials coordinate with the website and reflect the mission of the project. Expect to see more on the launch of the program in the upcoming weeks.
Public Works Department
This week the Public Works Department's Street Division repainted the center lines on Siskiyou Boulevard. Last week the crack seal crew sealed cracks along Siskiyou and in doing that, the center lines were broken up in many areas. Repainting the lines in town is an ongoing process and crews try to paint as much as possible each year. Public Works focuses its efforts on high wear areas in town, which are typically the areas with high traffic loads.
People often asked why crews paint in the middle of the day during the busiest months of the year. The simple answer is that weather conditions are the single biggest factor in paint drying times. When painting occurs in the heat of the summer, especially on days with low humidity, the paint dries in a matter of minutes. If, on the other hand, that same painting is done in the cooler nighttime temperatures, the drying time would be several hours. The same is true for painting during other cooler, more humid times of year when the drying time could take a day or more. Painting in the summer can be a bit of an inconvenience to drivers but crews are able to keep the road open and only disrupt traffic for a short time rather than close streets for days at a time. So even though it may seem like painting in the summer is the worst time possible to do this project, it really is the best time to get it done in a hurry.
Working in busy traffic, however, is probably one of the most dangerous situations we put our street crews in. Because of this, they are extra cautious with traffic control and increase the size of the paint crew to accomplish this task safely. In a rolling lane closure, such as the ones done this week, the paint machine leads the way with one operator doing the driving and painting. He or she is followed by a second employee conducting quality control. The paint thickness and width is measured and this information is relayed to the paint machine operator and adjustments are made as necessary. Behind the quality control inspector another truck follows to create a physical barrier between traffic and the crew. In low volume traffic situations this is enough to accomplish this task safely. In a situation like Siskiyou Boulevard, an additional truck is added behind the first truck both to create an additional barrier and to give the paint a little extra time to dry before it’s exposed to traffic.
The awards keep coming for the Ashland Map project created by the City’s GIS Division in concert with the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. The Ashland Map last week took first place in the Instructional Map category at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, the world’s largest gathering of GIS professionals, with approximately 16,000 people from 132 countries. More than 725 maps in eleven categories were on display. Last fall the Ashland Map took home two of four trophies at the Northwest Regional conference. Among other things, entries were judged on originality, cartographic quality, effective use of GIS tools, and clarity and readability of text. Click here to see all of the winners. Kudos to GIS Analyst Lea Richards for her outstanding work on the Ashland Map.
There were two noteworthy entries in the Police Department’s Guardian Tracking system this week, both from Sergeant Hector Meletich. First, a note of praise for Officer Damian Amarillas:
“On July 9, 2015, Officer Amarillas responded to a call of fraud and worked with a citizen to resolve a situation in which $4,500 was fraudulently taken from two out-of-town women who had rented a house for their stay in Ashland. (The citizen) had nothing but admiration and praise for his effort in handling the case. She commended Officer Amarillas and I quote, "he could not have been more helpful, more professional, more patient, compassionate and kind and represented City of Ashland,” and went on to say that he “went above and beyond the call of duty” in handling the situation that was quite the shocker for the two women it affected. I wish to extend my praise for Officer Amarillas for understanding and performing in such a capacity.”
Sergeant Meletich also praised Officer Matt Caswell and Officer Amarillas for their professional, compassionate and sensitive handling of a distraught person in convincing the person to accept assistance from the emergency psychiatric services at RRMC.
APD received a letter from Talent Police Chief Mike Moran this week to express his appreciation for APD’s help in solving the recent theft of a $250,000 electric motorcycle from Brammo’s facility in Talent. Detective Sergeant Art LeCours, Detective Scott Marical and Officers Jason Daoust, Matt Carpenter, Malcus Williams and Jamie Broome worked on the case in cooperation with Talent PD. Said Chief Moran, “Talent PD deeply respects the work of your department and we truly enjoy our continuing professional relationship.”
Ashland Fire & Rescue hosted the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) this week. This was an opportunity to introduce national wildfire strategic leaders to the Ashland Forest Resiliency (AFR) project and the Ashland Forest All-lands Restoration (AFAR) project. Together they are an example of successful and forward thinking implementation of the Cohesive Strategy within an ecosystem services framework, stimulating local jobs and economy and tying into regional wildfire hazard reduction and forest restoration. During this visit, WFLC members explored the AFAR concept of all-lands fire management on non-federal land involving Natural Resources Conservation Service and other proposed funding. Department members were able to highlight the AFR community support network, ecological workforce training, cutting edge contracting and funding, collaborative partnership, and ecosystem services aspects of AFR.
CERT will host a Map Your Neighborhood in the Billings Ranch neighborhood thanks to the proud support of their HOA. CERT met with several residents Thursday morning and will await their choice of dates for the neighborhood gathering. The large neighborhood will break into smaller sections to assist in effectiveness and efficiency. Many thanks to CERT volunteer Eileen Polk for her continued representation as lead facilitator of the Map Your Neighborhood program.
A reminder that fire danger remains EXTREME on all lands within the City of Ashland and fire season prevention measures have increased. The outdoor use of power-driven equipment is not permitted during any time of the day. For the general public, the following restrictions will be in effect beginning Saturday at 1:00 a.m.: