(Ashland, Ore.) — In recognition of Constitution Day, Southern Oregon University will host activities on the Ashland Campus commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Across the country on the week before or after September 17, education institutions host events to remember the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Continue reading
Public Archeology Day is October 12 at the Site
(Ashland, Ore) The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA), in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Jacksonville, will conduct archaeological excavations at the Chinese Quarter Site in Jacksonville, Oregon Saturday, October 12, from 10:00 a.m through 2:00 p.m. The archaeological excavation will be open to the public. Continue reading
(Ashland, Ore) John Sollinger, an associate professor in University Seminar at Southern Oregon University, has been invited to be the established Artist-in-residence at Crater Lake National Park this fall. Continue reading
(Ashland, Ore.) – The Music program of the Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University presents the second annual SOU Tutunov Piano Series, opening on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. with pianist Alexander Ghindin performing works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Liszt and Brahms. Continue reading
(Ashland, Ore.) – The Theatre Arts program of the Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University presents “Menagerie: The New Vaudeville” featuring James Donlon, Alina Cenal, Terry Longshore and Jeff Richmond on Thursday-Friday, Oct. 3-4 at 8:00 p.m. in the SOU Center Stage Theatre. Continue reading
Dubbed “a young virtuoso” by the New York Times
(Ashland, Ore.) – The Music program of the Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University presents saxophonist Kenneth Tse, winner of the prestigious New York Artists International Award and the National Alliance for Excellence’s Alex Award, in addition to many others. Tse’s singular performance in Southern Oregon will be held at 7:30 pm on Monday, Oct. 7 in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus. Admission is free of charge. Continue reading
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SOU, union reach accord
Three food workers near retirement keep positions
By Sam Wheeler
For the Tidings
August 21, 2013 2:00 AM
A compromise has been reached between Southern Oregon University and the Service Employees International Union over whether 15 union-represented food service workers would remain public employees at the school.
But the outcome of the negotiations has led to a union grievance and some unhappy workers.
“I really thought that we were going to come up with a nice compromise, but I’m sorry, this is not a compromise,” said 56-year-old Cheryl Ramirez, a 16-year SOU employee who was handed a layoff notice earlier this month along with 11 others.
Three who were a few years from retirement were retained by SOU in their original positions. Ramirez and several others with seniority were given the option of filling other open positions at SOU for which they qualify or “bumping” a lower-ranking classified employee and taking his position, said Jay Stephens, SOU director of human resources. Ramirez will be working in admissions.
The rest were left with two options: walk away or work for Minnesota-based A’viands Food and Services Management, which signed a 10-year contract with SOU over a year ago to manage its dining services, Stephens said.
“I understand it was a difficult process,” Stephens said. “Essentially everybody had an opportunity to keep their job or a job … the idea was to make sure everybody had a job.”
Although the opposite has been suggested by some of the employees and union representatives involved, “it certainly wasn’t a push by the university for anyone to lose their job,” Stephens said.
A handful had enough seniority and experience to retain their status as public employees in other positions at the school, said Danielle Wechselberger, SEIU Local 084 president at SOU, but most of them went to A’viands.
The food-service workers who made the jump to A’viands lost their membership in Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System and access to public-employee benefits. But A’viands agreed to fully subsidize their costs for the company’s health insurance plan for as long as they work there.
Though the collective bargaining agreement between SEIU and the Oregon University System requires contractors such as A’viands to retain former public employees for only six months, A’viands agreed to nine months, Stephens said.
Ramirez said there is a clause in the agreement that allows A’viands to terminate any employee at any time for “just cause.”
“What does that mean?” Ramirez asked. “Going to A’viands, there is nothing good about it.”
The new A’viands employees also will not receive reduced tuition rates at Oregon public universities, which they enjoyed as public employees, because is is not possible legally, Stephens said.
“I am very disappointed with the way that this was handled on the administration side,” Wechselberger said. “I feel like that they (the employees) were not treated the way they deserve to be treated after all the years they dedicated to the college. … When you’ve given 15 or 16 years of your life to something, it feels like you are being thrown away.”
A task force formed in January to reach a compromise included university administration, SEIU representatives and classified employees, and it began positively, said Ramirez, who was involved in negotiations. But things began to deteriorate as the school year wore on.
The biggest blow to the group’s confidence came when SOU mistakenly estimated that moving the workers to A’viands would save the school about $105,000 annually. SEIU was challenged to find a way to match that savings, which it did by offering a proposal that would cut the workers’ schedule back from 12 to nine months out of the year.
All of the workers were onboard, but once that proposal was received, SOU realized it had miscalculated. The actual savings that needed to be met was $220,000 annually, and the proposal was rejected.
“How can we save that amount of money?” Ramirez said. “We can’t, they just don’t want us … they want to bust the union.”
Wechselberger wouldn’t go that far, but she doesn’t like the trend she is seeing across the state and nation.
“I feel like it has opened a door that is going to be hard to close. Contracting out does not save money in the long run,” Wechselberger said. “Unfortunately, SOU is looking for shortcuts to fix this budget crisis, and I don’t think it should be done on the backs of our lowest-paid workers.”
SEIU filed a grievance against SOU at the beginning of the year, but it was put on hold pending the outcome of negotiations. It has been reactivated and may lead to outside arbitration, Wechselberger said.
Sam Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOU gets more ‘green’ recognition
August 19, 2013 12:45 PM
Sierra, the Sierra Club magazine, listed Southern Oregon University as number 26 on its annual list of green colleges and universities across the U.S.
This is the fourth straight year SOU has been on the list. It was ranked 99th in 2010, 38th in 2011 and 45th in 2012.
The ranking has to do with schools’ commitment to environmental sustainability.
Oregon State University is 11 and University of Oregon is 46 on this year’s list.
Raiders revving up for 2013
Lack of respect, based on polls, mystifies third-year coach Howard
By By Joe Zavala
for the Mail Tribune
August 20, 2013 2:00 AM
ASHLAND — The Southern Oregon University Raiders may have another two weeks to prepare for their season opener against Montana Tech, but when it comes to motivating his team, head coach Craig Howard appears to be in midseason form.
Howard didn’t mince words when asked about the Raiders’ place in both the national (14th) and Frontier Conference (third) coaches’ polls last week, questioning a perceived lack of respect and pointing out sizable jumps made in the national polls by two of SOU’s league rivals — Carroll College and Montana Tech.
“It’s amazing,” said Howard, who guided the Raiders to the national quarterfinals in 2012, his second season in Ashland. “It just shows that we’re not respected and that people believe we’re a one-year wonder and this program won’t last. They believe that the reason we had success last year was because of Cole McKenzie and Patrick Donahue and Michael Olson, and those guys graduated and we’re not going to be very good.”
Howard felt the Raiders should have been ranked higher in the league poll since they return 14 starters — six on offense, seven on defense, plus kicker/punter Colin Amsler — off a team that tied Montana Tech for the league title. And he doesn’t understand why SOU fell nine spots — the most significant drop in the nation — from its No. 5 spring ranking in the national poll.
“What happened from spring to summer to drop us nine spots?” he asked. “We didn’t even play a game.”
Eventually, Howard laughed off the snub, joked that SOU has won the Frontier Conference every year it has been eligible and finally acknowledged that, yes, Carroll earned the benefit of the doubt by winning six national titles between 2002 and 2010. One of Howard’s goals is to help the Raiders acquire the same kind of respect.
“It doesn’t matter where we’re ranked in the preseason,” he said. “It’s where you’re ranked postseason.”
To that end, Howard and company are busy figuring out, among other things, who will replace the aforementioned receivers, a competition that’s as important as any in SOU’s fall camp. McKenzie, Donahue and Olson combined for 254 catches for 3,980 yards and 34 touchdowns during last year’s record-shattering season, but all three graduated, meaning junior quarterback Austin Dodge must find a new set of targets.
So far, two players have stood out as strong candidates to bear at least some of that burden: Matt Retzlaff, a redshirt freshman out of South Medford High, and sophomore tight end Clay Sierra.
Retzlaff, whose older brother Ryan, a junior, is also vying for playing time, will likely open the season as SOU’s starting “Y” receiver, the right slot position held by Olson last year. Retzlaff knows SOU’s no-huddle spread offense well and has improved both his speed and strength in the offseason.
“He really looks good,” Howard said.
Sierra, SOU’s sixth-leading receiver a year ago with 24 catches for 329 yards and five TDs, is expected to become a bigger part of the Raiders’ offense this season after emerging as a deadly safety valve in 2012. At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, Sierra provides a massive target with soft hands. He broke out with five catches for 118 yards, including an 85-yard catch-and-dash against Eastern Oregon, but didn’t see a lot of balls thrown his way down the stretch. That will probably change because Howard believes Sierra is simply too dangerous a weapon to leave on the shelf.
“When you have a true tight end that has that kind of speed and size and the ability to catch the ball, you’ve got to use him,” Howard said. “In a practice drill he caught a pass over the middle and nine guys bounced off him. So he’s got the power to run over you and the speed to run away from you.”
As for the other pass-catchers, Howard said the battles for playing time have been spirited and have yet to reveal definite starters. There are a few front-runners, however.
Teran Togia, a 6-1 sophomore who was a backup last year, has been playing with the starters, while Ryan Retzlaff (6-0, 185) and Dylan Young, a 6-3 junior transfer out of Feather River College, are fighting for snaps at the “Z” receiver spot.
Battling to take over Donahue’s “X” receiver duties are Blakelyn Birks (5-10, 200), a University of Hawaii transfer, and Donald Drisdom (5-10, 180) out of West Los Angeles Community College.
A few darkhorses may also work their way onto the field this season, including the smallest player on the team. Kermit Knight (5-6, 160), a redshirt freshman from Stockton, Calif., is having a great camp, and true freshman Austin Schaffer (6-0, 200), a converted quarterback now vying for time in the slot, has shown why he was the Gatorade prep player of the year for the state of Idaho.
“All the skill guys are going to be new,” Howard said, “but there’s good talent and good competition and right now I’m really pleased with them.”
After roles are ironed out, the Raiders’ receivers will look to sync up with Dodge, whose coming off one of the most productive seasons in NAIA history. Howard says that will be a work in progress.
“Well, it’s developing,” he said. “You don’t just graduate those guys and it hits off again, but the chemistry right now with Clay Sierra and Matt Retzlaff is wonderful.
“The new guys, they’re fitting in, they’re learning. In fall camp, you just add about six plays a day and your mind’s racing, your body’s sore and tired, you’re learning all this stuff and your confidence isn’t there yet because you’re still trying to say, ‘OK, what is the play?’ But pretty soon, you’re going to know the play then execute the play.”
Joe Zavala is sports editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-776-4469, or email email@example.com
SOU’s Academia Latina is “An amazing, inspirational place”
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‘An amazing, inspirational place’
Academia Latina continues to build upon a growing tradition of education
By Sam Wheeler
For the Tidings
August 17, 2013 2:00 AM
Providing Latino students with an early first taste of college for the 13th-straight summer, Academia Latina is creating a lifetime’s worth of opportunity for some.
“We’re opening doors for these kids,” said 21-year-old Arturo “Tito” Onesto, who teaches Portuguese to students during the weeklong youth academy held at Southern Oregon University.
Onesto was accepted into the program as a student in 2004, immersed himself and never looked back. He played the role of a junior and senior councilor, a type of group leader, at Academia Latina before he started instructing last year, he said.
“When I came at first, it was mostly to hang out with the girls, but I started to realize there was a lot of value to this,” he said. “It became the only thing I looked forward to in the summer.” Onesto, entering his senior year at University of Oregon as a journalism major, is a good example, said Director Juanita Gomez-Ephraim, of how Academia Latina’s work is beginning to come full circle.
The unique program has swelled from 25 applicants in 2001 to 155 this year — the most ever, Gomez-Ephraim said. This year, 98 students were accepted, while most of the others were turned down because of a lack of funding, she said.
Ending today, the program started Sunday and has been bustling all week, as the nearly 100 seventh- through eleventh-graders work through daily classes across campus. They experience full run of the university, including sleeping in the dorms and eating in the cafeteria.
“This is an amazing, inspirational place,” said third-year student Jose Lariz, a 17-year-old soon-to-be senior at Crater High School. “I feel like I am always going to look back to what I learned here.” Lariz said he will apply to become a junior councilor during next year’s Academia Latina.
“I want to give back … when I become successful, I plan to be a sponsor, that is a dream of mine,” he said.
For the first time, Academia Latina accepted high school sophomore and junior students like Lariz into the program under a leadership role, but those students were required to take complete a more stringent application process. In the past, the program only accepted seventh- through ninth-grade students.
Elementary- and college-level math classes, creative writing, a culture class titled “Aztecs, Mayans and Ipads,” foreign language, nursing and mural art are a few of the classes students can chose from this year.
Salsa dancing is a popular one, Gomez-Ephraim said.
In her third year at Academia Latina, soon-to-be junior at South Medford High School, Tana Garcia, 16, said learning Portuguese has been one of her favorite parts of this year.
“I just tell the students, it’s like Spanish with an accent,” Onesto said. “They are picking it up well.”
“This place feels like a second home to me,” Gracia said. “After my first time here, I knew I would always try to come back.”
To come back to Academia Latina, students previously accepted must maintain a higher grade-point average than the prior year to be considered.
All of this year’s applicants live in Southern Oregon, Gomez-Ephraim said, but many have been accepted from outside of the region and state during years past.
“I really enjoy just getting to know all the kids. They all have passions and you can see they are determined to pursue them,” said Dani Camacho, a senior councilor at Academia Latina.
Camacho, who is entering his senior year at SOU studying business management and marketing, says Academia Latina changed his life.
“I got out of the program for a few years, but came back,” he said.
“All my councilors that I knew, I say that’s the reason I am in college, the reason I am at SOU. They were a really good inspiration for me.” Like many others in the program, both Camacho and Onesto, who grew up together in Phoenix, have siblings in the program.
The program simply can’t keep up with its growing reputation among adolescent Latino students in the area, Gomez-Ephraim said.
Academia Latina draws most of its financial support from a handful of regional sponsors, foundations and federal and state grant programs, which are perpetually on the brink of collapse, said Carol Jensen, director of pre-college programs at SOU.
Nearly all of the students accepted into Academia Latina are given scholarships that pay for $650 of the $700 cost of enrollment, she said. Most students pay a $50 fee to attend.
“Thirteen years ago this program was ahead of its time,” Jensen said. “Now, it’s something that could be replicated on every campus across the nation. We can certainly expand — we turn kids away every year — but we just need the funding.”
Sam Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Oregon University
August 16, 2013 2:00 AM
Dean’s ListSpring 2013
A total of 851 full-time Southern Oregon University students achieved a grade point average of 3.50 through 3.99, equivalent to letter grades ranging from B+ to nearly straight A, qualifying them for inclusion on the Dean’s Honor List. Undergraduate students taking 12 or more graded credits are eligible for the list.
Ashland: Vanessa Joy Longley, Christina Hokulani Akau, Abdullah Mohammad Aljawaiy, Justin G. Allison, Moayyad Jarad Almalki, Huda Hassan Alrashid, Khalid Musaed Alshowaib, Yousef Abdulaziz Altufiel, Ashley Kristine Andrews, Ryan Paul Ashe, Tatsiana V. Asheichyk, Charles Allen Baker, Trevor Scott Bateman, Michael Brian Bates, Adrienne Marie Baudry, Shyla R. Beaver, Cale Joseph Bickler, Zachary Asher Bizzarro, Megan Joy Bjerke, Fayth Kenworthy Blackwell, Wander Adjanku Boesjes, Jacob Daniel Bonn, Kyla Jill Boswell, Katelyn Elizabeth Bottimore, Elizabeth Suzanne Boulay, Lolita Zouzou Boutet, Ariel Dawn Brand, Casey Nathaniel Brandel, Amanda Marie Brophy, Jae Brown, Jordan Roberta Bucher, Autumn Angelica Buck, Luke McBride Burnham, Derrien Savannah Burns, Daniel Lane Burt, Kayla Marie Bush, Brian Kenneth Busk, Mario Carreau Cambern, Amelia Arwen Carr, Andrea Marianne Carr, Julie Kay Case, Kristine Marie Case, Haley Anne Casebier, Kelly A. Cassinerio, Trinity C. Castner, Shahe Sophia Catranides, Ashley Renee Clark, Seth Alexander Coad-Douglass, Abigail Marie Colombo, Fredrika Helena Condos, Joshua Wayne Cook, Danielle Morgan Courtright, Angelica Crimmins, Ali Summer Daniels, Joshua John Danielson, Elias Deleault, Amy Elizabeth Determan, Michael Ross Dillow, Timothy Austin Duryea, Ian Michael Dusenbury, Coeli Marie Dwivedi, Alyssa Lauren Eckebrecht, Will Evans Fain, Sierra Faulkner, Chad Ference, Robyn J. Fichter, Colin Joseph Finnegan, Rachel Jean Fisher, Brittny Jade Frings, Jason Michael Gerber, Heather Rose Goerger, Mariah Irene Gonzales, Courtney Kristine Goslin, Ariana Bianca Graham-Heuer, Lynette Renae Haberman, Rayna F. Hagie, Anne Elizabeth Hagy, Riley Curtis Hamilton, Casey Boone Hanks, Jami Ann Hanna, Joni Lynn Hansen, Lillian Rose Hardgrove, River Hardy, Heidi Layne Harrison, Jeffrey Allen Hayes, Blake Garret Helmken, Kelsie Jenea Henderson-Weaver, Hollis Cynthia Hiatt, Adam LeGrand Hobbs, Grayson Scott Hockett, Kathryn Olena Hodges, Patrick J. Hoffmann, Samuel Quinn Hoiland, Tomoya Honda, Reid David Honeywell, Wendy R. Hood, Sarah Danielle Jeran, Caley Eileen Johnson, Kody Matthew Johnson, Haley Elizabeth Jonsson, Katheryn Anne Kammerer, Peter Yevgeni Kennedy, Scott David Key, Baback K. Khosroabadi, Holly Denise Kilpatrick, Tyler Andrew Klaus, Erica Danniele Knotts, Rachel Jane Kostrna, Llupus Botan Kulick-Pope, Lily Mae Kurtz, J. Lisa La Pierre, Jordan E. Land, Tamara Elizabeth Lee, Noah Ram Leen, Katheryn Elizabeth Leon, Adam Richard Lion, Heather Christine Long, Mandalynn Brooke Macdonald, Kendra Claire Madaras-Kelly, Regina Lisa Mannino, Dylan James Marchek, Zachary John Marshall, Mila I. Martczyanov, Jonathan Taylor Matthews, Ariana Lee May, Randi Nicole Mayfield, Larry Dean McCain, Brandon David McCowan, Katherine Elizabeth McCredie, Shaelline Nicole McCulloch, Eoghan Patrick Morgan McDowell, Vanessa McNutt, Carly Elizabeth Meister, Brandon Charles Meyer, Emily Grace Miller, Max K. Miller, Logan J. Mitchell, Katherine E. Moeglein, Dylann Moore, Kevin Michael Moore, Leslie Catherine Muir, Crystal Lynn Munoz, Ford Mikhail-Gustave Murawski-Brown, Kaylie Kailani Nakamura, Megan Judith Neufeld, Holly Lucinda Nienhaus, Kevin Edward Novinger, Christian Aleksander Ostmo, Alexandra Brooke Parks, Sarah Jessica Pelzner, Samantha Pennington-Vrsek, Kellie Marie Pertl, Cassandra Leann Pinard, Celeste Alexandra Pylko, Tania Allison Quispe Diaz, Steven Isaac Reeves, Bailee Adair Reimer, Zachary Thomas Reutlinger, Feinn Alexa Rice-Narusch, Tanner Lee Richie, Damian Christiani Rodriguez, Paloma Rubi Rojas, Jazmin Roque, Rebekah Jean Ruby, Muriel Annaliese Sadleir Hart, Colton Zachary Safley, Efren Sanchez, Alexandra R. Schmidt, David Neil Scott, Cara Michelle Sexton, David Charles Sherman, Justin M. Silva, Evan Allen Sims, Lauren Rae Skinner, Anthony Bruce Smallen, Alexander Joseph Smith, Lakia Marie Solomon, Danastasia Paulette Sousa, Michael Robert Springer, Cameron Brittney Stark, Jennifer Renae Steiner, Daniel J. Stephens, Thomas Elliot Stone, Vaughn David Swanson, Nicholas Wade Temple, Shelby Nicole Temple, Eric Anthony Thompson, Lavinia Ema Turian, Cassandra Leanne Van Hout, Mary Teresa Vest, Jeremy David Vik, Jessica Grace Volk, Denise Anne Wagner, Jessica Norine Wanderscheid, Allyson Margaret Ward, Alissa Spelliscy Weber, Stephanie Ann Wehe, Mark Alan Weir, Christa Marie Welcome, Angela May West, Brandon Thomas Worthington, Russell Saiji Yamamoto, Mallory Estellene Young, Cassandra Mckenzie del Nero, Richard Thomas van Zijst
Butte Falls: Janis M. Vorbeck
Central Point: Rachel Anne Albright, Kristina Barton-Diaz, Dylan Matthew Beaman, Shallon M. Beatty, Heidi Jennifer Bosworth, Samantha Lee Cobb, Robert Allen Cole, Robert W. Edwards, Bowen Thomas Feeley, Lauren Marie Hornbeck, Hannah Elizabeth Ironside, Melissa Ranae Keiry, James Darrell Leavens, Livia Jewell Marlowe, Justin John Martin, Tyler Allen Mickelson, John Robert Muswieck, Joshua Edward Muswieck, Rio Jeanne Picollo, Ryan Michael Randahl, Derek James Rodman, Jeremy Daniel Selland, Alsacea Ree Stauffer, Meghan Louise Thompson, Pamela Rei Thoren, Michelle Diane Trowbridge, Kevin Matthew Turner, Mandy Jean Updike, Rebecca Rose Van Duker, Victoria Marie Versteeg, Morgan Grae Williams
Eagle Point: Kamie Lynn Blevins, Clinton Louis Caffee, Hillary Elizabeth Daves, Carrie DeCicco, Andrew Louis Farina, Juan Luis Gonzalez, Jessie Lynn Grissom, Trenton Dean Kaiser, Nicole Elizabeth Leaf, Shelley Elizabeth Lindenman, Lesley Inez Neilson, Lindsey Renee Patrick, Meghan K. Payne, Alicia Heather Polendey, Caitlin Whitley Ralls, Luca Jay Ryan
Gold Hill: Lisa Gabrielle Fecteau, Kyle Anthony Hayes, Amber Marie Myer, Steven Harold Sagert, Natasha Amber Schroeder, Garrett Marshall White
Grants Pass: Amanda Joy Baird
Jacksonville: Johanna Marie Boyd, Melissa Anna Boyd, Thomas Jesse Burns, Kate Colleen McDonald, Andrea Monet Miller, Amber Rozanna Savage, Lindsey Pamela Thomas, Angela Marie Wood
Medford: Cynthia Ahlo, Nancy L. Alegria, Ryan J. Allen, Alan Amezcua Aranda, Jacob Michael Barnett, Patrick A. Barnett, Kelsie Ann Bartley, Laurie Bates, Megan Elizabeth Beamish-White, Michelle Thalia Benitez, Sawyr Dakota Benzley, Lindsey Evangeline Blodgett, Lea Beth Bonney, Shane William Boyd, Geoffrey James Brabham, Jamie Kathleen Buckley, Susan Rene’e Burnette, Jessica Anne Carr, Joshua Carroll, Adrianne Rose Claassen, Brenda Dawn Clopton, Nathaniel Russell Coddington, Mark Andrew Combs, Timothy Luke Crane, Kyle Wilson Crebbin, Emily Kristine Cutting, Alyssa Marie DeLisle, Sean M. Dega, Kenneth John Kekoaponohe’oia’i'o Depp, Courtney Mary Ellen Dickinson, Jacquelyn Aisha Dix, Morgan Nicole Dixon, Elisabeth Esther Ervine, Chelsea Lee Fankhauser, Jillian Marie Frakes, Donna June Freeman, Mayra Alejandra Garcia, Amber Lin Garner, Jonathan Matthew Gomes, Lily N. Gorbun, Jessica Joy Grissom, Jerrica Ford Harboldt, Lori Ann Harms, Carol Jo Hasskamp-Valdez, Drusilla L. Hebert, Danielle Mariah Hinkley, Ashley Shantell Hughes, Jordan Mari Hurd, Allison Lynn Inscore, Kyndra Alexis Irigoyen, Stephan Matthew Janakes, Kevin Leiel Jenkins, Kathleen Louise Johnson, Sara Jolin Keith, Thielsen James Lebo, Randal Marcus Lee, Blake Donald Lykins, Alice Morgana MacIver, Orion F. Malamed, Cory Antone Massei, Michelle Lia Kliever McClung, Sarah Joelle McGrew, Ashley Noell McGuire, Michael Paul Means, Corey Austin Metcalfe, Kaitlyn Breanne Mobley, Taylor James Mullaney, Melinda Jean Nagle, Dominique Louise Newman, Michaela B. Nuss, Elijah J. Oberlander, Holly Elizabeth Oberlander, Ernesto Sanchez Ortiz, Liberty Neisler-Walker Parnell, Ashley Marcella Parret, Katherine Alexandra Pearson, Tiffany Nicole Pinkstaff, Alicia Renae Preston, Daniel Lee Rester, Russell Ray Ridge, Brittany Michelle Ripley, Juan Luis Rivas, Zachary Dee Roberson, LesLee Diane Roberts, Adam James Robertson, Christian James Roeske, James Michael Rothstein, Dillon Matthew Rotz, Danielle L. Saiz, Mathew L. Scheytt, Sage Byron Shaw, Christopher David Shawl, Cody Alan Shilts, Genevieve Rose Shultz, Patrick Silva, Eric James Simpson, Stephen Dale Sleezer, Alexander Christopher Smith, Talon Michael Smith, Kelly J. Stringer, Kirstin Renae Stroud, Andrea Lyn Sukraw, Trevor Eugene Thorndike, Amanda Jean Thoyre, Jared Alan Thoyre, Alexa McKenzie Trost, Callen Dieter Trost, Ryan Paul Ulbricht, Reena Fae Van Duzer, Trevor Brent VanWinkle, Jessica Anne Elizabeth Vietz, Patricia Lorraine Volosin, Wesley Michael Wade, Kelley Nicole Walker, Lacey Avon Elizabeth Weathers, Jake Anthony Weigel, Jeffrey Scott Wilcox, Caryn Cherie Williamson, Anjanette Ruth Wright
Phoenix: Jason R. Couch, Devlin Grey Damico-Ivy, Kalee Dawn Firestone, Kimberly Pearl Hartwell, Matthew Aaron Libante, Crystal Mena, Rachel Lea Pedersen, Lauran Kelli Rose, Marilee Reye Stainbrook
Prospect: Caree Marie Mickelsen, Scott Allen Williams
Rogue River: Heather Rene Kuntz, Bryan George Laskey, Laura Sky Perry, Laci Rose Smith, Tyler Joshua Stickler
Shady Cove: Ashley Barrett, Karla Jane Geigle, Trinity Christine Tippin
Talent: Heather Michelle Alimossy, Ibrahim Alsayary, Saud Faisal Alzenaidi, Jordan Douglas Anderson, Rose Ellen Averbeck, Sara Marie Averbeck, Brandon Barker, Danielle Rene Berryessa, Kerri Ruthann Brooks, Kaila Patricia Calhoun, Jessica Marie Daly, Anja Sofia DuBois, Kayla C. Elrod, Tyler Brent Hawkins, Jeri Lou Jackson, Grant Allen Jolliffe, Ahmad Daghim Karikar, Jacob Walker Kulyn, Rachel Ann Lawson, Samuel Russell Longnecker, Sean Michael McLeary, Robert Joseph McLellan, Emily Minasian, Rory James Owens, Isaac Stephen Park, Mckenzie Deon Peters, Ahmad Salah Sairafi, Stefanie Marie Scowden, Jade Evelyn Stevens, Carolyn Maxine Stone, Brystan Gayts Strong, Courtney Elizabeth Wettstein
White City: Jesse J. Case, Mayra Cristina Garcia, Brian Edward Murphy, Cristal Ibarra Salas, Wendy R. Hood, Tamara Elizabeth Lee
President’s ListSpring 2013
A total of 262 full-time Southern Oregon University students achieved a grade point average of 4.0, equivalent to letter grade “A,” thus qualifying for the President’s Honor List. Undergraduate students taking 12 or more graded credits are eligible for the list.
Ashland: Dylan Steven Adams, Sheldon Michael Aguilar, Rakan Abdulrahman Alassaf, Carlos Huberto Amaya, Aaron Heber Anderson, Lindsay Auzenne, Benjamin Charles Bennett, Katherine Irene Bennett, Natalie Marie Blaustone-Dye, Rachel Elisabeth Blazinski, Coleen Rose Bremner, Maggie Buktenica, Trevis M. Caplinger, Juan Daniel Chavez Solano, Christian Thomas Chesterman, Sarah Ashley Clark, Michael Brandon Crafts, Matthew Thomas Del Selva, Katherine Louise Doan, Nicole L. Doran, Kirsten Louise Ericksen, Austen Montgomery Fisher, Randall Connor Fitzpatrick, Amy R. Foust, Blair Kendra Fraser, Winston Friedman, Amber Jovon Fuson, Elisabeth Renae Goss, Brandon William Glen Gray, Patricia Cecelia Halleran-Cislo, Tara Irene Hanst, Timothy Matthew Hill, Emily Ann Holgen, Karl R. Hudson, Megan Wagner Janssen, Nolawit Mengiste Kebede, Nicole A. Keller, Jem Rochelle Kloor, John R. Koerschgen, Evan Gray Lasley, Victoria Avalon Lipski, Haley Morgan May, Yu Morita, Clinton James Nichols, Noelle Amanda Novotny, Nikolos Peyralans, John FC Piazzini, Melanie Marie Rankin, Kathryn Joy Richardson, Jessica Nicole Ring, Anastasia K. Risley, Austin Seaver Rose, Daniel Embra Shaw, Rosetta Ann Shaw, Cathryn Rose Siegl, Dakota Alexander Slaton, Steven Dale Stafford, Eli Ryan Stotsky, Mohammed Abdulaziz Sultan, Christopher Michael Vinson, Caryn Alyssa Westrick, Marc Jason Wheeler, Lindsay Anne Wiegel
Central Point: Angelica Maria Banuelos, Shawna Linn Fisher, Brittni Michelle Kellum, Janel Lei Lajoie, Eilish CH Lambrechtsen, Jessica Anne Legler-Prewitt, Christina Louise Patton-Cattolico, Almyra Jean Perry, Walter Eric Schimke, Heather May Shepherd, Jake T. Watson, Marc Andrew Wells, Jessica Rae Worley
Eagle Point: Taylor Nicole Anderson, Daniel A. Cardenas, Christopher Shane Doran, Amanda Lynn Elrod
Gold Hill: Roxanna A. Jolly, Cynthia Levesque-Couch, Leah Katrina Wilson, Kelly Rene Woody
Jacksonville: Lacey Alexandra Bendell, Max Luis Goldman
Medford: Patrick Eugene Arthur, James M. Bachman, Leticia Barrera, Ethan Taylor Barrus, Blake Edward Bloomquist, Matthew Louis Bowers, Adam G. Callaway, Carissa Moriah Cornelius, Kaylan Colleen Dugan, Benjamin James Eaton, Shane Mark Elsdon, Christopher Wayne Evans, Amy Kristine Haskett, Alisha Nicole Higley, Sandra Dee Horn, Ashley Nicole Hyde, Terah Suzanne Kropp, Collin Marshall Krum, Trevor Daniel Kuyper, Amanda Kay Light, Lila Marie Marroquin, Thomas Ben Martinez, Trevor Thomas McCarthy, Lauren K. Miller, Angela Lynn Minneci, Ashlynn Marie Ortiz, Barbara Ellen Panfil, Michael D. Paradis, Eric Pyka, Paul Allen Rock, Ashley Elaine Spires, Angela Beth Stephens, John Matthew Stranahan, Laura Ivette Velazquez-Rangel, James Thomas Wagner, Laura Grace White, Kali Marie Wiedrich, Joseph William Wilson
Phoenix: Jesse Jack Allred, Aaron Hooker, Guadalupe Stephannie Ortiz, Karla Ivette Parra, Jocelyn Claire Redding, Shaun Ryan Wolff
Rogue River: Katherine Grace Barkley, Amber Katrina Cross
Talent: Eva Lenore Albert, Tracy Lynn Charlesworth-John, Tully B. Doyle, Ana Lucia Gutierrez, Amy Janette Lindgren, Raven Katherine Ann MacLachlan, Malina Nicole Martinez, Sabrina Lee Podsobinski, Angelica Christine Polkowitz, Steve Isaac Santoni, Christopher Ferry Seaman, Hannah Kathleen Stafford
White City: Shawna Davis, Marie Jane Poppa, Carol Louise Pruett,
Campus Pride ranking highlights positive work done for LGBT students
(Ashland, Ore) Southern Oregon University (SOU) is among the top 25 campuses in America that are friendly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, according to Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to support LGBT-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. SOU is the smallest public university to make the top 25 list. Continue reading
SOU climatologist Greg Jones says global warming is affecting apples, grapes and other fruit
Nature August 15, 2013
SOU professor Craig Wright entertains with his band Spawn of Satin tomorrow night as part of the Institute for New Writing/Ashland
Daily Tidings August 15, 2013
Alumnus John Reid, former editor of the Medford Mail Tribune, loses battle with Parkinson’s disease
Longview Daily News August 14, 2013
Kids attend veterinary medicine summer camp at SOU
Mail Tribune August 13, 2013
Writers from across the country gathered on the SOU campus this week
Mail Tribune August 11, 2013
65 years of emerita professor Betty LaDuke’s art on display at SOU’s Schneider Museum
Mail Tribune August 11, 2013
SOU climatologist Greg Jones on the effects of forest fire smoke on wine
August 11, 2013
Former SOU School of Business Dean Raj Parikh is the new dean of the Walker School of Business and Communication at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA
GoErie.com August 11, 2013
Raiders are #14 in preseason football rankings
Mail Tribune August 13, 2013
Full version of print clips
Spawn of Satin
August 15, 2013 2:00 AM
Southern Oregon University’s New Institute of Writing will sponsor an open dance party featuring guitarist and songwriter Craig Wright’s new music project featuring Paul Turnipseed on guitar, Thomas Mackay on vibes, Joe Cohoon on upright bass and Mike Fitch on drums. Expect to hear some original tunes as well as “familiar covers, lively neo-retro, never-heard-before nostalgia and memories of the future,” Wright says. The party starts at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at Club 66, 1951 Ashland St. There is no cost to attend.
Kids attend veterinary medicine camp at Humane Society
By Janet Eastman
August 13, 2013 2:00 AM
Trinity Stewart and Ella Bloom have been best friends since preschool because they are both crazy over creatures.
So instead of staying inside this summer watching reruns of “Animal Planet,” the 12-year-olds participated in a weeklong veterinary medicine camp offered by Southern Oregon University Youth Programs.
For a week, they spent afternoons at the Southern Oregon Humane Society in Medford, taking in the sights and scents of dogs and cats, and learning about pet physiology and how to interpret animal postures.
“You can tell if a dog is nervous if he stays still and puts his tail under his bottom,” says Trinity, who attends McLoughlin Middle School in Medford with Ella and would like to be a veterinarian or volunteer for the Peace Corps someday.
The girls, along with a dozen other students ages 10 to 14 enrolled in the July 29-Aug. 2 course, also studied a model of a dog skeleton and the similarities of animal organs, muscles and soft tissue compared to humans.
“Dog appendixes actually do something, unlike ours,” says vet tech Kayla McLean of the Animal Medical Hospital in Ashland.
McLean fascinated the hopeful dog docs by showing them a cat heart floating in a jar and X-rays of a canine’s fractured leg.
She then told them to volunteer at an animal shelter or clinic, and take science and math classes to eventually get a job working with critters.
Programs such as vet med camp engage, educate and challenge children, says Stephanie Butler, SOU’s pre-college youth programs coordinator.
Experts recommend kids participate in fun educational activities during the summer to prevent learning loss, also known as “summer slide,” when classes start up again in September.
The vet med campers are among 600 kids enrolled this summer in SOU’s hands-on day camps and classes, which cover a variety of fields, from law to music.
An additional 400 youngsters are participating in activities during the day and getting an early taste of college life by sleeping in the Ashland campus dorms and eating in the cafeteria.
Last week, high school students shadowed health care professionals as part of Camp M.D. (Medical Detectives).
This week, about 100 Latino students in seventh through ninth grades are taking math, creative writing and dance classes on campus.
One of SOU’s residential camps, called Academy, has been orienting fifth- through eighth-graders on campus life and learning for 33 years.
“Young people who attended our programs as youth are now returning, filled with enthusiasm to teach for our programs because their experiences were so memorable,” says Butler.
Ashland mom Roxanna Stapp required her four children to take summer classes of their choice offered through SOU, the Ashland Family YMCA and Ashland Parks and Recreation.
“Summer can be a good balance between relaxing, recharging and keeping active,” she says. “They take a music, art or theater class that interests them now but may connect to their education or career in the future.”
She has noticed that starting the new school year is less stressful on her children because of their summer courses.
Her son, Kyle Storie, 14, attended band camp earlier this summer and then vet med camp.
Afterward, while vacationing on a ranch, she noticed that Kyle could read fear in a calf separated from its mother. The Ashland Middle School student caught and calmed the animal and returned it to its mother.
“He was confident in knowing what to do,” says Stapp. “He was also comfortable feeding pigs.”
Kenn Altine, executive director of the Southern Oregon Humane Society, says the vet med camp is a broad-based look at a career working with animals. And more.
“Our biggest hope,” he says, “is that these children have a better understanding of animals, their moods and needs, and learn that pets are more than cute puppies. There are shy dogs and freaked-out cats who need their help.”
After five days of instruction, Trinity and Ella were ready to shake off any hesitations they had about putting Dexter, a mix of poodle, terrier and Jack Russell, into a tub and shampooing his black fur.
Together, they reassured the 1-year-old pup as they brushed him. Then they wrapped him in a towel, and Dexter relaxed in Ella’s arms.
“I can’t believe no one has adopted him,” she says, holding him like a swaddled baby. “He’s so easy to take care of.”
Keep kids’ brains active
Experts recommend children do the following to prevent learning loss over summer months:
- Join a summer reading program
- Explore parks, nature preserves
- Visit museums, cultural centers
- Practice math skills while baking, shopping, playing board games
Southern Oregon University Youth Programs offers classes and camps for elementary to high school students. Summer courses continue through Friday, Aug. 23. Call 541-552-6452 or seewww.sou.edu/youth/summer/index.html.
Children enrolled in Southern Oregon University’s veterinary medicine camp were given this information from the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association about keeping pets safe and healthy:
- Exercise a pet but not in the midday summer heat or on hot pavement.
- Feed a pet a balanced, nutritious diet.
- Provide a pet with plenty of clean, cool drinking water.
- Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle.
- Protect a pet from sunburn with pet-specific sunscreens.
- Have a pet examined yearly to help detect problems.
- Vaccinate a pet against potentially deadly diseases such as distemper, parvo, panleukopenia and rabies.
- Keep a pet free of parasites, including fleas, ticks, heartworm.
- Spay/neuter a pet.
Information at http://oregonvma.org/care-health/summer-pet-care-tips
Writers will gather for SOU conference
Workshops, readings and more scheduled for weeklong event
By John Darling
for the Mail Tribune
August 11, 2013 2:00 AM
Noir Night readings at a local bar, a walking tour of literary spots and talks by nationally noted writers highlight the first Institute for New Writing, which starts Monday at Southern Oregon University.
The weeklong conference provides workshops in short story, poetry and noir for undergraduate and graduate credit. But it also offers activities for the public, such as Noir Night — “flash readings from the dark side,” or three-minute readings of poetry, fiction or dialogue in the mood of hard-boiled detective stories — starting at 10 p.m. Monday at Omar’s restaurant, 1380 Siskiyou Blvd. There’ll be jazz and a cash bar, too.
“I suspect we’ll get a lot of interesting stories from the dark side of human experience,” says Robert Arellano, director of SOU’s Center for Emerging Media and one of the institute’s organizers and speakers. The readings are free.
Thirty students from as far away as the East Coast and the United Arab Emirates are enrolled for the workshops, which include Arellano’s exploration of noir, SOU professor Craig Wright’s “Advancing Constructions of the 21st Century Short Story,” and SOU associate professor K. Silem Mohammad’s “21st Century Poetry and the Inheritance of Experimentalism.”
“We saw an opportunity, with the beauty of Ashland and the strength of the writing faculty, to create this year-round institute with a summer conference, as they are very popular with people working on manuscripts and for aspiring writers as well,” Arellano says.
Arellano has written six novels, including “Havana Lunar,” a 2010 Edgar finalist. Mohammad has written three books and experiments with revolutionary poetry forms such as flarf, which is composed of words plucked from random Internet search results. Wright is the author of the short story collection “Redemption Center,” a songwriter and current Pushcart nominee for “The Things Other People Do.”
Afternoon panels, which are open to the public, will focus on defining the new institute, the state of the language, the future of fiction and “Digital Textuality and Noir.” The panels are from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Hannon Library on campus.
Readings take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art, followed by a reception and social time. Wright and his band will perform at a 9 p.m. Friday dance party and open mic at Club 66, 1951 Ashland St.
Arellano will lead a walking tour of literary spots in Ashland on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. at the Ashland library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd. The tour will stop by the house where Vladimir Nabokov wrote “Lolita” and include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Lithia Park.
The institute closes Saturday afternoon with INWApalooza, a literary festival featuring noted writers Kevin Killian, Vanessa Place and Sharon Mesmer. Killian is part of the New Narrative literary circle in the Bay Area. Mesmer is a noted poet and teacher in New York. Place is a criminal defense attorney and a director of Les Fiques Press. The festival will be from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Schneider museum.
“If you’re a writer, all roads lead to Ashland next week, whether you enjoy reading literature or want to discover a new interest in writing,” Arellano says. “The evening events are going to be darn fun. It’s one of those perfect examples of SOU’s commitment to creativity with community and we hope to make it an annual event.”
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at email@example.com.
Institute for New Writing
Sorrow and Joy
Artist Betty LaDuke has been inspired by normal people around the world
By John Darling
for the Mail Tribune
August 11, 2013 2:00 AM
For 65 years, with no agent or gallery representing her, Ashland painter Betty LaDuke has been creating her colorful images of common people, farming, peace, spirituality and the Third World.
Now 80, the tireless and soft-spoken LaDuke presides over a dazzling art retrospective of her life at Southern Oregon University’s Schneider Museum of Art, stretching from her first pencil sketches of working people in her native Bronx in 1948, then paintings from her first scholarship in Mexico in 1953 and onward, with long and creative stays in Africa, India and Latin America — and a study of farm workers in the Rogue Valley.
An SOU art professor from 1954 to 1996, LaDuke says her work shows “how people need each other. It shows we’re not isolated beings. We need to have compassionate understanding and not dwell on rights and wrongs. It’s about the ability of people to connect. There is great sorrow, but also great joy, and that usually happens when we see ourselves as part of the larger whole.”
Her vividly colorful works show people at work in fields, tending flocks, cuddling their babies and grieving their losses in war and as refugees from it, something she saw up close in Eritrea, at war for 30 years with neighboring Ethiopia.
Her “Dreaming Home,” 2001, shows a clearly sad couple with many children standing in a strange land, with little hope of going home, she says, because of the proliferation of land mines.
LaDuke has tried to show “the real world around us … and the people we normally don’t get to see.” They wear common peasant clothing and do their daily chores with the placid expressions of people who don’t know they’re being painted. They’re often surrounded by spirals and zigzags, fanciful birds and stars and people painted within people.
Her “Creation Dance,” 1972, from India, shows Shiva dancing, but as a full-breasted nude female, instead of the traditional male, and standing on a turtle, representing Earth, with a giant black bird behind her.
“I’ve made her into a goddess, celebrating life and dance. I love that energy I found in India,” says LaDuke.
Her acrylic, “The Healer,” from Nigeria, shows an exulting shaman full of lizards, snakes and birds, with an eye in his hand and crescent moon on his head.
“He’s an herbalist, the person who knows all about natural resources, who makes concoctions to heal people, not only the body but the soul,” she says.
In “The Tree of Life,” a mother is the tree, surrounded by images of sorrow, the white-clad mothers who have lost husbands and children to war, she says, noting that branches spring from her body, speaking of eternal renewal of life and “the possibility that the next generation will find ways to stop war.”
Many of her paintings of farming in the Rogue Valley are on permanent display at the Medford airport. Showing the planting and harvesting of regional crops, some are at the Schneider show.
LaDuke has never tried to market her art, preferring to show it in public places and universities rather than having it end up in private homes, she says. Much of it will be donated to SOU and other Oregon universities.
“To view the work of 65 years spent making art is both a humbling and inspiring experience,” wrote acting museum Director Erika Leppmann. “As Betty LaDuke and I looked through stack after stack of drawings, then etchings, racks and racks of paintings, and then the work in progress in her studio, I was overcome by the energy, industry and passion evident in the work and the artist.”
LaDuke’s exhibit will be on view from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at the Schneider Museum through Sept. 14. A special showing for farm workers will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 18. A gala showing, featuring many other artists, musicians, poets and the Ashland International Folk Dancers, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25.
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Exhibit of 65 years of art by Betty LaDuke
Where: Southern Oregon University Schneider Museum of Art
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays through Sept. 14. A special showing for farm workers will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 18. A gala showing, featuring many other artists, musicians, poets and the Ashland International Folk Dancers, will be held from7 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25
A hazy harvest?
It’s too early to tell whether wine grapes will taste better with smoke
By Janet Eastman
August 11, 2013 2:00 AM
Open a bottle of cabernet sauvignon from the Rogue Valley’s 2009 vintage. Does it taste like black current, spice and tobacco?
If so, those flavors came from the grapes and toasted oak barrels, not from the smoke that hung in the air for a week before harvest.
Wine and smoke, you see, have a complex relationship.
Sooty air can change wine, but it takes time. As of now, two weeks after lightning started five major wildfires in southwestern Oregon, the region’s grapes haven’t been kissed deeply with smoky lips — yet.
There have been short-term impacts. In vineyards from Ashland to the Applegate, unpredictable conditions are forcing weddings, concerts and fundraisers indoors.
And vineyard crews are suffering from burning eyes and that logy feeling from exposure to the smoke.
Last week, vineyard manager Chris Hubert of OVS Results Partners sent workers home under a pall of smoke. They are now back, tucking in grapevines but safely wearing respirators.
As for longer impact, winemakers and grape growers are searching through the gray air for good news.
If the smoke scatters soon, it might have helped enhance the flavor of the wine grapes. If the fires get worse, no one wants to predict the outcome.
“We would be happy to see the smoke go away, but I think it will have a positive effect on the grapes unless there is persistent smoke and more fires,” says Don Moore of South Stage Cellars, whose family owns 300 acres of grapevines from Talent to Jacksonville.
Until now, grapes were ripening two weeks earlier than past years.
“Reducing the sun right now will keep the sugar levels low and add unique characteristics and thorough ripening to the flavor,” says Moore.
Jean-Michel Jussiaume, the longtime winemaker at Del Rio Vineyards in Gold Hill, says Oregon wineries will have to deal with some telltale signs of smoke, due to the length, timing and size of the fires.
But, he adds, no one will know the complete story until harvest and a few years after the wine has developed.
“As I approach each harvest, I will be patient and make the best of what nature has to offer,” he says.
As viticulture experts calmly wait out the hanging haze, they are explaining that there are two types of references to smoke when it comes to a glass of wine.
The classic cigar smoke or leather aromas come from the process of aging wine in oak barrels.
Smoke-tainted grapes, which the Rogue Valley has never experienced, can retain unforgiving odors of ashtray, screeching rubber tires, disinfectant or charred meat.
“Southern Oregon has had fires and smoke events before with little to no smoke issues in wines,” says Greg Jones, a Southern Oregon University professor and research climatologist who has spent time with the world’s foremost authorities studying smoke’s effect on wine.
“There is no reason to think that this year is any different,” he says.
Wildfires swept through Southern Oregon in September 2009 and smoke settled for about a week over ripening grapes. But it wasn’t heavy and it didn’t stay long enough to make a significant impact.
In 2002, the Biscuit fire blazed nearly 500,000 acres in the Siskiyou National Forest and left a lingering mark on the landscape.
Winemakers hoped the constant layer of smoke and haze in August and September would allow for even ripening to the clusters.
Vintner Donna Devine pressed smoke-affected cabernet sauvignon grapes grown at Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley and hoped for the best.
Troon’s current winemaker, Herb Quady, then cellared the wine and when it was ready to be released, the winery decided to call attention to its blazing past. Its name: Biscuit Fire Reserve.
The label had red flames in the background. It’s now a collector’s item, once fetching $700 a bottle. Some of the proceeds from that year were given to firefighters, a tradition that Troon continues.
Wine appreciator Kim Hosford, 48, of Talent says that the Troon Biscuit Fire cabernet was one of the most memorable wines she has tasted.
“It was the summer of 2006 and I went winetasting with a group,” says Hosford. “The Troon staff told us about this wine and when we tasted it, it had a distinctly smoky flavor but not overwhelming. The smoke added another layer of complexity. We bought a few bottles and drank them.”
Grape grower Don Moore remembers selling out of South Stage Cellars’ 2002 syrah by winemaker Linda Donovan because of the lightly smoked taste.
Timing and talent, experts agree, are everything.
Grapevines are most susceptible to smoke compounds from veraison through harvest, says Del Rio’s winemaker Jussiaume. Veraison, which is occurring now, is when the grapes start to get soft and change color.
Fire particles are absorbed by the plant and accumulate onto the grape skin, but not the pulp. If necessary, smoke damage can be reduced or avoided by limiting the juice’s contact with the skins.
But, says Jussiaume, red grape skins deliver color and tasty tannin, and some of the molecules that are responsible for the smoke taint are identical to ones in oaked wine and found naturally in some grape varieties.
“The difference is their concentration,” he says. “That is why the influence of smoke, in the best case, can also participate in adding to a wine’s complexity.”
Winemaker Quady is also taking a wait-and-see approach.
“While it’s certain that the smoke will have some effect on the character of the vintage, the type and magnitude of the effect remain to be seen,” he says. “Let’s see what it’s like at the end of August. If we’re still wearing respirators, then we’ll have an idea.”
Science of smoke on grapes
Climatologist Gregory Jones in Southern Oregon University’s Department of Environmental Studies has studied wine grapes around the world. He’s been monitoring the region’s smoky conditions and offers this timeline:
Summer 2013: Warm, dry conditions.
July 26: Dry lightning sparks fires and smoke settles over inter-mountain valleys due to normal summer high pressure and inversions.
Late July: The Applegate, Illinois and Rogue valleys see more smoke than the Umpqua Valley because of north-to-south air flow.
Now: Fires in isolated areas are hard to contain when vineyards are most susceptible.
Fall: October rains may have to snuff out fires.
Raiders are No. 14 in NAIA preseason rankings
August 13, 2013 2:00 AM
ASHLAND — The Southern Oregon University football team won’t need record-shattering performances this season to get the NAIA’s attention. If a national ranking is any indication, the Raiders already have it.
At No. 14, SOU was included in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll for the first time since 2004, the national office announcedMonday.
The Raiders, in their third year under head coach Craig Howard, began fall camp on Saturday and will host their season opener on Aug. 31against Frontier Conference foe Rocky Mountain (Mont.). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Mel Ingram Field in Grant Pass.
The Raiders went 9-3 to land at No. 5 in the final poll of 2012 after sharing a Frontier Conference championship, making an appearance in the national quarterfinals and averaging 642 yards of offense per game to establish a collegiate record. They broke into the rankings at No. 23 following a 4-2 start and went on to win their next five games.
Morningside (Iowa), which needed overtime to eliminate SOU in a 47-44 quarterfinal decision and went on to play for the national title, was voted into the NAIA’s top spot with 280 total points and four first-place votes. Second-ranked Marian (Ind.) received eight first-place votes but just 267 points.
At No. 7, Montana Tech will start the season as the highest-ranked Frontier Conference squad. Carroll (Mont.), which with Tech was tabbed by coaches as the conference’s co-favorite, is No. 12.
SOU will make its Raider Stadium debut against Montana Tech on Oct. 5.