Year in Review: October

*The commissioners approved an ordinance to adopt recent state land use rules during their Sept. 27 meeting. While legally obligated to follow these state laws, the commissioners said they disagreed with several of them, including the prohibition of building structures in forest zones that are not part of a fire district or contract with a private fire service. They did agree with guidelines for the emerging industry of agrotourism.
*American Mineral Research, Inc. which has a three-year mineral exploration agreement for the county property called St. Peter Mine in Wolf Creek, applied for a full mining lease. However, the county was skeptical of the financial investment, as their mining consultant Sesby Consulting concluded that AMR had not provided sufficient evidence of valuable minerals being present at St. Peter Mine.
*Jessica LaBerge, the central and south-central regional coordinator for Governor Tina Kotek, came to Cave Junction for a visit in early October. LaBerge communicated to local leaders which areas Governor Kotek has identified as priorities – early and elementary education, housing and homelessness and mental health and addiction.
*The county purchased property adjacent to the Fairgrounds from Dutch Bros. CEO Travis Boersma, using funds earmarked for property transactions. Real Property Manager Helene Lulich noted this property could be included in a future sale of the Flying Lark facility.
*Energy Trust of Oregon, in partnership with IVCanDO, offered free energy audits to qualifying Valley homeowners. Joy Lark, project manager for IVCanDO, said, “This specific program is new to our area but has been around for a little while now and seen success in a handful of other parts of Oregon such as Lake and Klamath counties.”
*Bridgeview Vineyards was the place to be Friday, Oct. 13 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the fundraiser for I.V. HOPE Village. This fundraiser had wine tastings compliments of Bridgeview Winery, paired with samples of food from Chef Kat and Twisted Cork, Trillium Bakery and Pappy T’s. Guests listened to the soothing sounds of Alan Eisner on piano, alternating with Adam West on acoustic guitar.
*Parks & Rec Commission member Roger Brandt announced there was a dedication planned for the Flag and Veterans Plaza Nov. 11 at Jubilee Park. Brandt developed a drawing that shows there would be four monuments built in front of the pavilion by the large flagpole that include an AWS Skywatch Historic Marker, WWI Barracks Monument, American Legion Monument and an Illinois Valley Veteran Services Organizations Historic Marker.
*Sabre and Cannon Tabletop Games, held its grand opening in Cave Junction Oct. 7. Longtime Illinois Valley resident Jerry Barringer’s unique addition to the Illinois Valley offers a variety of classic, collectible wargames and sci-fi adventure games for sale within the main store, and memberships can be purchased to join the gaming club and get a 10% discount on purchases. The store is located at 219 S. Redwood Highway, and is open Thursdays 12-6 p.m., Fridays 12-7 p.m., and Saturdays from 12-8 p.m.
*The CJ Council approves Ordinance 601 to amend the city’s municipal code and allow for the inclusion of block parties and a Paint the Pavement program. With this adjustment of the municipal code, such events could be held within the city limits, provided that event organizers apply for a permit and follow several guidelines outlined within the ordinance.
*The CJ Parks and Recreation Committee finalized plans for the Veterans Day celebration at Jubilee Park during an Oct. 19 meeting. Plans included a flyover by the United States Air Force, patriotic songs performed by both the Illinois Valley High School band and choir, a raising of the U.S. Flag, and an important moment in which the Jubilee Park plaza would be formally dedicated to the armed forces veterans of the Illinois Valley.
*Sheriff Dave Daniel gave a presentation hosted by Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce at Wild River Pizza that outlined his idea to create a Josephine County Law Enforcement Service District Oct. 20. Sheriff Daniel made it clear at the start of his presentation that his intention was to educate and inform the Chamber, rather than push any sort of agenda, but also emphasized that his department is in dire need of help from the community to continue functioning past the summer of 2025.
*The TRSD Board of Directors convened Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Illinois Valley High School in Cave Junction to conduct their monthly regular session. Superintendent Valenzuela gave updates on the district’s “long-range facility plans.” He said the district’s consultants ranked the schools’ deteriorating roofs and other building infrastructure priority one, while mechanical systems like HVAC and heaters were priority two.
*The Valley Girl Quilt Show was inspiring to many. According to Valley Girl Chair Diana Kihs, if there was a Best of Show ribbon it would have gone to Barbara Goodson with her first place king size quilt called “Amish with a Twist,” described as machine quilted with “lots of different blocks with a star in the center.” Kihs said that 28 quilters entered 118 quilts into the show and 15 ribbons were given out to the quilters.