News

Seeking Justice

Carmen Gonzalez, Ramon Ramirez, Dagoberto Morales

In September, five community groups came together at the Medford Library to discuss how workers rights are not being met in our fields and forests. Organizers from PCUN, Beyond Toxics, NW Forest Worker Center, Unete, and Oregon Action gathered for the 2015 Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force Meeting, “Fairness for the land and worker”.    

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Oregon Workers Lose Ground

Low- and Middle-Wage Workers Lose Ground During Economic Recovery

Oregon workers have seen their paychecks shrink in the economic upswing following the end of the Great Recession, according to a report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy. As the economy expanded from 2009 to 2014, low-wage workers saw their wages decline by more than 5 percent, after adjusting for inflation. Over the same growth period, middle-wage workers also saw their wages decline by nearly 3 percent, while high-wage workers saw their inflation-adjusted wages rise by 1 percent. While low- and middle-wage workers lost ground, the Oregon economy expanded during this time by nearly 13 percent.

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Rogue Valley candlelight vigil for Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

On the evening of the summer solstice, around 200 people gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember the 9 people killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. At the plaza in Ashland, Oregon. Rogue Valley neighbors sing and pray for the innocent victims.

Ashland Police arrest Southern Oregon University trespasser

On April 29, 2015 during our Independent Media Week events, SOU security and Ashland Police detain and arrest Scott Green, who was accused of trespassing on SOU property.  Prior to the arrest, Green was sitting quietly during the IMW workshop at the Hannon Library on campus. Security had been alerted to his presence and APD ordered the room cleared.  As we attempted to clear the room, Green got agitated and grappled with an event organizer, police separated Green and that is where the video begins…

This is part two of an arrest at Southern Oregon University.

inmateOn April 29, 2015 during Independent Media Week events. Scott Green was taken to Jackson County Jail and booked on charges of Criminal Trespass, Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Police Officer.

Ashland City Council will hear a report  on crime in Ashland, Use of Force by the Ashland Police Department, the Enhanced Law Enforcement Area and on-going issues on Will Dodge Way. at the May 5 city council meeting, 7 pm at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

Hannah Thomas-Garner found safe!

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Daily Tidings: ‘The best result we can hope for’: Ashland police confirm Hannah Thomas-Garner is safe with her father

Search for missing Ashland teen, Hannah Thomas-Garner continues

Update 3/9/2015 Hannah has come home!

As rumors of potential sightings of Hannah Thomas-Garner in Florida and Texas continue to pour in, Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness met on Wednesday with several members of the public and answered questions about her disappearance.

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Missing Oregon teenager Hannah Thomas Garner: finding few facts among fear

Ashland is a vibrant community in southern Oregon just about fourteen miles north of the California border along the 1-5 corridor. It’s a little city of about 21,000 people that lies nestled in a valley surrounded by hills and mountains in an area that seems to draw a fair number of dreamers, artists, poets and writers. Much of Ashland’s charm is that it’s a place where imaginations are encouraged to wander– the world renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival is located here, as well as Southern Oregon University.  Tourists fill the sidewalks underneath the bright red flags which line Main Street and for many locals, life in Ashland is zesty, colorful and fun.

It’s a close knit community where neighbors get to know one another and there’s a sense of safety even though terrible things do happen from time to time– some of which go unsolved, like the murder of Dave Lewis whose burnt body was discovered on Memorial Day weekend in 2008. Three years later, twenty-three year old David Grubbs was walking home along a well used bike path and was brutally murdered. Both families await an elusive visitor called justice, which seems to be an infrequent guest in this tourist driven town.

Somehow, even still it’s a magical place to live, work and raise a family.

Just as if it played out on stage, at first the people in this story didn’t feel any sense of alarm in late November 2014. On Thanksgiving Day, Jeff Garner of Kilgore, Texas talked to his 17 year old daughter, Hannah Thomas-Garner by phone. She’d just celebrated her birthday the month before and the teenager spoke of her plans to continue to hunt for a part-time job. An Ashland high school junior and an honors student, Hannah did not have a history of getting into trouble.

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Two days later, she disappeared.

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Get involved! Ashland Independent Media Week

Ashland Oregon’s 11th annual Independent Media Week  showcases  a coalition of independent media producers, local activists and community groups organized around the theme “A well-informed citizenry is a cornerstone of democracy”

Traditionally running the third week in April, Independent Media Week is a grassroots campaign to inform and empower citizen by showcasing local efforts and to expand and inspire hyper-local media production.

This year’s Independent Media Week will be celebrated in the Rogue Valley the last week of April from April 26th to May 2nd.

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Ashland High School Message to missing student, Hannah Thomas-Garner

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In a powerful show of support, the Ashland student body and faculty lined up in a heart shaped formation on the football field to demonstrate their concern for Hannah Thomas-Garner who has been missing since November 30. In the middle of the heart, six of Hannah’s friends held up letters spelling out the word “Moose”, Hannah’s nickname.

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Senator Wyden Townhall – Jordan Cove, Free Trade, Fast Track

Over 1oo joined Senator Ron Wyden at the townhall meeting in Grants Pass.  The senate Democrat took questions from the community about a number of issues, including jobs, trade,  and the Jordan Cove energy project.

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Ron Wyden responds to questions about his support for Jordan Cove Project and dodges questions about Free Trade and Fast Track.