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February 9th, 2020. Sunday 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm Books and Ballet

Another wonderful event by McKenzie Arts and Culture Coalition will open with a reading of a soon-to-be published child's tale "Princess Penelope " by artist and author Linda Cummens. Next will be 30 minutes of short dance pieces by Coos Bay Ballet, who were here last year also. Doors open at 3:00 and free refreshments await visitors. Children will be invited to visit with the performers after the program.

February 7th, 2020. Friday 6:30 pm to 8 pm.  Prepare - Disaster Communications.

People say the scariest part of last year's snow-storm was when all communication systems were down. No landline phones, no cell-service, no internet. It can happen again. "A Proposed Disaster Communications Ham Radio Network for the McKenzie Valley" will be the focus of this month's Preparedness gathering. It will be presented by John Core who has decades of experience in working with emergency communications. The system will need local residents and organizations to make it work, so come learn about it. Don't leave your Preparedness up to "someone else". (And if you know older people who don't drive after dark, please offer them a ride!) Open to everyone. 

The Upper McKenzie River community (Figure 2) is defined here as the area served by the Upper
McKenzie River Rural Fire Protection District and including the communities of Blue River, Rainbow and
McKenzie Bridge. The District includes the area extending from 30 miles up McKenzie Highway (OR 126
E) from Springfield, the Clear Lake Cut-Off Highway to the Santiam Junction and all of the Old McKenzie
Highway (OR 242). These communities are about 45 miles east of Eugene, Oregon and surrounded by
the Willamette National Forest in mountainous terrain. Communications outside of these communities
can be very difficult to non-existent if internet, power and cell service are disrupted. As a result, the
residents of the Upper McKenzie River must rely on one another, local first responders and merchants
during a disaster incident. The McKenzie River Highway west to Eugene/Springfield is a life-line of critical

On February 25 th , 2019 the Upper McKenzie River experienced an unusually heavy, wet snowfall that was one for the record books. Thousands of trees collapsed into power lines along Highway 126 and local roads from heavy snow loading, resulting in a total collapse of normal forms of communications for several days. Some residents were without power for as long as 9 days. The Upper McKenzie River RFPD was without any form of communications for 72 hours. The local Blue-Sky Market closed for 5 day due to lack of power (and no backup generator) and was unable to pump gasoline or propane. Many residents were isolated without communications of any kind. Under these situations Auxiliary (additions to normal means of communications) are necessary.

Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOMM)
Auxcomm radio includes: Amateur (Ham) radio, General Mobile Radio Service radios (GMRS), Family
Radio Service (FRS) and a few other forms of 2-way radio available to the public. For purposes of this
Plan, the scope is limited to Ham, GMRS and FRS radio, each of which are regulated by the FCC." (from DRAFT Upper McKenzie River Auxiliary Communications Plan

December 7th, 2019. Saturday. Holiday Potluck Dinner and Party.


 4:30 - 5:30 pm - Cocoa Talk - Free coffee and cocoa for anyone! Free time for everyone to mingle and talk informally with each other.  We invite people from local non-profit groups to be here, both as a chance to talk with each other and with anyone else who wants to know more about your organization -  Community Centers, Library, Clinic, Charter School, Track and Field,  MCDC, McK Education Foundation, Churches, and more, all make this community together.


  5 pm  Singing at the Belknap Covered Bridge - Several years have gone by since the last "Bridge Lighting", when the lights on Belknap Covered  Bridge were switched on, and songs were sung.  This year, Singing at the Bridge is happening again, (although the lights come on automatically at dusk now.)  Words of traditional Christmas Carols - and some new songs - will be made available by the song leader. Let your voices be heard!  Park at UMCC and walk to the bridge.


   5:30 pm - 6 pm. Appetizers and beverages - enjoy the holiday spirit with your neighbors. Bring your appetizers and beverages to share.  You might meet someone with similar tastes!

   6 pm. Potluck Dinner - What will you and your neighbors bring? Hot meat ham with honey glaze, roast beef, salmon, crab cakes, pasta and vegetable casseroles, salads of all kinds, and sweeeeet desserts?  We are always happily surprised by the variety and amount of food that is shared. (Bring your own plates and service please. We have no dishwashers!)


7 pm. Music and Gifts We have invited the McKenzie High School Band to fill the UMCC hall with their rousing music.  We will mix this with our own singing, and stir it up with a big serving of gift-giving. We've sent a letter to Santa to please be there. The real gift is everyone's presence!


 Invite your friends!



Thank you to everyone who is making this event happen:

Dick Lauer, Kelly Britt Davis, Shirley Fry, Jeanne Fager, Allen Brody, Chere Estrin, Marla English, Margaret Beilharz, Kathy Jaworski, Francesca Anton, Alex Jones, Lisa and Dave Frelke, Carolyn Nielsen, Barbara Emannuel.

A special thanks to Chuck and Shannon Leland for their generous donation to ensure the electrical system is safe. 


The Upper McKenzie Community Center is now a 501 c (3) Membership organization.


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