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  • Will the Plaza kiosk get canned?

    Downtown Beautification Committee recommends removal of longtime community bulletin board
  • A kiosk on the downtown Plaza where people post fliers about community events could become a thing of the past.
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  • A kiosk on the downtown Plaza where people post fliers about community events could become a thing of the past.
    The Ashland Downtown Beautification Committee has recommended the kiosk be removed.
    The Ashland City Council will give directions to city staff about whether to remove the kiosk during a study session that begins at 5:30 p.m. on Monday in the Ashland Community Development and Engineering Services Building's Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way.
    Study sessions are open to the public but public input is usually not taken.
    On Friday afternoon, Ashland resident Chris Cook was posting a flyer about the second annual Brews, Burgers & Bluegrass event on June 7 at Eden Valley Orchards in Medford.
    "It's important that there's a place for people to do this," said Cook, a board of directors member for Thrive, a nonprofit group supporting local food production. "It's free advertising for non-profits and low-funded organizations."
    The flyer showing images of beer, a hefty burger, a banjo and a barn said the event will feature bands, Rogue Valley microbrews and unique burgers from local ranchers.
    Cook said the Plaza kiosk could be improved.
    "It could be managed. Maybe people could submit fliers to the city and they could put them up behind glass. I'm sure there are other models," she said. "Stuff's just blowing in the wind."
    Still, Cook said she wouldn't want to see the kiosk removed.
    "It's a nice service that the city provides a place for people to get their events publicized for free. It's community service-oriented," she said.
    In place for more than 15 years, the Plaza kiosk was installed in an unsuccessful effort to stop people from posting fliers on city light posts, according to city staff.
    Every Monday, an Ashland Parks and Recreation Department worker removes fliers from the kiosk.
    A separate kiosk on the Plaza is staffed by volunteers who operate an information booth, mainly to help tourists. That kiosk is undergoing renovations.
    Also on Friday afternoon, Dunsmuir, Calif., resident Barbara Cross was posting a flyer to entice people to that community's city-wide yard sale. The event promised a pie social, a soapbox derby, a dogwood tree celebration and other events.
    "I do think it's ugly, but it's useful," she said of the kiosk with fliers. "There needs to be a place in town to post fliers. It's a good place."
    Cross said she would like to see the fliers under glass so they would be protected from the weather. She also said the kiosk was too cluttered with fliers.
    "There probably needs to be a bigger place, judging by the fullness," she said.
    A variety of information boards for fliers and posters are scattered around Ashland.
    Hillsboro resident Harold Berger, in town to see plays, said he thought the kiosk was fine.
    "If people need information, it's a good place to go," Berger said as he rested on a Plaza bench beneath a tree.
    Walking across the Plaza, Ashland resident Rachel Starr said she likes the kiosk.
    "I think it shows people what our community is interested in when they walk through here," Starr said. "It would be too bad for them to not see the fun things going on here."
    Various fliers advertised T'ai Chi lessons, drumming classes, an American Red Cross blood drive, computer help, the upcoming ScienceWorks Tinkerfest invention celebration, belly dancing classes, concerts, lessons for adults on how to be playful, paddle boarding demonstrations, a poetry slam, dance performances, children's theatre workshops and a Songs With Cussin' open mic inviting singers and spoken word artists to use swear words.
    Large fake $100 bills carried the sarcastic message "In Bull We Trust" and invited voters to ignore ads attacking a proposed ban on genetically modified organisms — or GMOs — on the May ballot.
    Removing the kiosk and its concrete footing, adding new base material and resurfacing the area with pavers would cost $3,000 to $4,000, according to city staff estimates.
    Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.
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