Julie Akins, Ashland Tidings

Julie Akins

Ashland Tidings

Oregon, United States

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  • Ashland Tidings

Past articles by Julie:

More beds, roofs would help

“I have to be somewhere,” said homeless defendant Daniel Fish in Ashland’s Municipal Court as he faced a $110 dollar fine for sleeping in his van. “I exist. I can’t help that. Where do they want me to go? If they tell me, I’ll go there.”His case, heard in March of this year, exemplifies the plight of many who appear in the city’s court for illegal camping — including sleeping in cars on public… → Read More

Soaring citations

The total number of illegal camping citations issued by Ashland police in 2017 has already exceeded the number issued in each of the last two years — combined. Through the end of October, the number of camping offenses filed with the Ashland Municipal Court in 2017 totaled 302, compared to 129 for all of 2015 and 145 in 2016.Ashland, like many cities across the country, has banned sleeping in… → Read More

Could Oregon's marijuana business boom turn to bust?

Oregon's marijuana legalization has produced a business boom — a boom that some fear may go bust if the state can't get a handle on its regulatory process.The concern surfaced in the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference held Sunday at the Ashland Hills Hotel. Growers, processors, retailers and regulators who came together for the session found themselves discussing an abundance problem — too… → Read More

Sleeping out so others won't have to

Dale Townsend, 54, shivered in his coat outside a tent at Lincoln Elementary School in Ashland on Saturday night. “We talk about the 99 percent and the 1 percent," he said. "The homeless are the zero percent. They don’t have even a percentage of wealth. They don’t have enough for food, shelter or basic necessities. That’s why I’m out here.” Townsend and 29 others camped on the school’s athletic… → Read More

Getting in tents to help homeless

“Every donation we get, we turn back around to help others,” says John Wieczorek of Options for Housing Residents of Ashland about their “Pasta with a Purpose” dinner and “Sleep Out” the following night to benefit programs for the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless.The dinner on Friday, Nov. 3, begins at 5 p.m. and goes until 7 at the United Methodist Church at 175 East Main St.… → Read More

Fund established for slain Callahan's employee

“Heartbreaking” is a one-word comment accompanying a contribution on the Ryan P. Bagley Memorial Life Fund established by Callahan’s Mountain Lodge owner Donna Bergquist in honor of the lodge cook murdered Saturday. Investigators believe Bagley was shot in the kitchen of the lodge by Neal Brian Norman of Pacific Grove, California, who was later killed on I-5 when he was run over and killed after… → Read More

Planning Commission OKs cottage housing plan

A move to clear the way for more cottage-style housing in Ashland passed another hurdle Tuesday night before the city Planning Commission. Commissioners → Read More

Proposal opens door to 'cottage housing'

Smaller, more affordable housing units on residential lots scattered through many of the areas of the city would be allowed under a proposed ordinance → Read More

City: Pioneer Hall can't handle snow load

Ashland’s emergency winter shelter for the homeless is potentially unfit in the event of a heavy snow or ice storm, according to a city report presented to the City Council at a study session Tuesday. Engineers found beams insufficient for heavy snow and the floor faulty in several places, as well as issues with the historic fire place.Three nights per week during winter, Pioneer Hall is open as… → Read More

Reducing the city's footprint

In a move widely supported by Ashland environmentalists, the Ashland City Council approved the second and final reading Tuesday of an ordinance inspired → Read More

Council votes for climate plan ordinance

Surrounded by smoke pouring in from huge wildfires, citizens and the Ashland City Council gathered in Council Chambers Tuesday where about two dozen people offered public testimony insisting now is the time to combat climate change locally. Many made the argument that burning forests and their by-product of unhealthy air is due, at least in part, from climate change. “It’s impossible to ignore… → Read More

City backs Indigenous People's Day

As a small step toward righting historic injustices, not to mention correcting the historical record, the Ashland City Council on Tuesday unanimously declared the city will recognize Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday of October. For centuries, school children have been taught Columbus "sailed the ocean blue" in 1492, a couplet that ends up having more rhyme than reason, as the… → Read More

Parking plan proceeds with caution

The Ashland City Council accepted a downtown parking plan almost as presented on Tuesday but delayed the hiring of a full-time parking czar, preferring to → Read More

Former school to be City Hall?

When members of the city of Ashland’s City Hall Ad Hoc Committee meet in two weeks they can expect an earful from local residents who live around the Briscoe School at 265 North Main St. The school closed in 2004, but the Ashland School District has continued to maintain it, including the playground and open fields around the school. The district is at the point where they are considering the… → Read More

Council compromises on climate plan enactment

The city embraces reducing local greenhouse gas emissions formulated in the Climate Action and Energy Plan (CEAP), city councilors agreed at Tuesday's → Read More

Ashland to get much-needed boost to housing stock

The Ashland Planning Commission has unanimously approved a new townhouse development of 29 units which promise to be affordable, workforce housing on the → Read More

Townhouse proposal hangs on commission's call

A “sale pending” sign swings in front of a 1909 wooden farm house sitting behind a vast lawn with a wide porch near the corner of East Main Street and South Mountain Drive in Ashland.Its sale depends on what happens when a local builder goes before the Planning Commission on Tuesday to propose 28 new units, mostly townhouses, on the nearly 1.8-acre project site at 1068 East Main St. Mark Knox… → Read More

Court dismisses Ashland exclusion zone suit

A lawsuit claiming Ashland’s so-called "exclusion zone" laws are unconstitutional was dismissed in Jackson County Circuit court June 26, but its backers say they will re-file.The lawsuit was not dismissed based on its merits, according to the filing attorney, Bill Mansfield, but instead on a decision that the plaintiffs lacked standing — that is to say, they were not personally affected by the… → Read More

Council expected to raise property taxes at special meeting Friday

The Ashland City Council will consider raising property taxes within the city at a special meeting starting at 3 p.m. Friday, June 30. This comes after → Read More

Ashland man still missing

Harold Hardesty, 86, who vanished April 10 from his 20-acre ranch in the 1200 block of Oak Street, just outside the Ashland city limits, remains on the → Read More