From the mayor’s desk: by Meadow Martell

I am back from an amazing trip to Fairbanks, AK. Did you catch my mistake in the last letter that said I would be back in November? Wishful thinking? Visiting Alaska, the 49th state of the Union is a worthwhile experience. After many late nights watching the sky, we finally saw an amazing Aurora Borealis display just three hours before our plane left. It was worth every minute.
One of the first things I do to catch up after a trip away from home is read the Illinois Valley News. Where else would I get information about what has been happening while I was gone, new things that are going to happen, “Tales from the Rural Patrol,” or the people who have left our community forever? Nowhere else can I read “Crawlies with Cri” that so vividly reveals what is happening around us every day in nature.
We are incredibly lucky to still have a hometown newspaper. A quarter of the local papers in America have been lost just since 2005 and an average of an additional two fold every week. Our local newspaper creates social cohesion and is our main storehouse of shared information and history. It is a public forum for shaping and monitoring a common agenda. The city uses the I.V. News to inform the community about public meetings. Please support the I.V. News and the efforts of Dan and Laura Mancuso who keep it going. Without our local newspaper Cave Junction would lose some of its unique identity.
As you probably noticed the Watkins and 199 water line replacement project is happening. This complicated project is going smoothly with not many hiccups. Thank you for being patient during the times when traffic must be diverted.
Unfortunately, the Jubilee Park playground project has hit another snag. We were recently informed that the playground equipment is still a month out from delivery. With weather change on the horizon, it is a dilemma about how to proceed. Once the project is started, the playground must be closed to use until completed. Public Works staff are looking at all the possible issues before deciding to go ahead and work during weather breaks or wait until next spring.
This week I will be in Bend four days at the League of Oregon Cities fall conference and the Oregon Mayors Association meeting. I hope to come back energized with new information and ideas to make our city a better place to live.