"Money was maliciously introduced in ancient times as a tool of enslavement" -
Michael Tellinger

"The present belongs to the future and future generations, and all old laws, religious and other, should be abrogated immediately. Free us!" - Vinay Gupta on Twitter

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"You find the strangest ways to be positive!" - Diane Duane, Wizards Abroad

Ashland, OR, State of Jefferson, Greater Cascadia

4/12: picked by Smithsonian Magazine as one of American's 20 best small towns. Judging by this description, they don't know the half of ithttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/The-20-Best-Small-Towns-in-America.html?c=y&page=19&navigation=next#IMAGES

(video I found on Oregon Shakespeare Festival site, made by Oregon. It's not only all true - it's just a small part of the story.)

This just in! Our State Rep. Peter Buckley's kickoff speech for #OccupyAshland demonstration Oct. 6, 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pj9lHoJun0

"It's the complete opposite of the East Coast" - Jon Gann, filmmaker

Ashland - "It\

Ashland is a very friendly small town with big-city culture and global values. And it's nothing like the East Coast! (Click on the photo for blog by visitor to Ashland about his film festival experience last year.)
I just came across another great blog - these pictures are borrowed from there. See: Ashland Daily Photo. 
Town of Ashland, with watershed and Mt. Ashland in background

Deco-style Varsity Theatre, a historic landmark and home of AIFF.
Thanks to Ashland Daily Photo.

See also in this blog...
AIFF posts (film festival)
OSF posts (Shakespeare festival)
Ashland posts (town)
So... what's it all about? Visitors who come for the Shakespeare Festival or the Independent Film Festival usually discover other things in Ashland too. Great local restaurants, more live theater companies, first-class live jazz, indie bands, art galleries, outdoor sports galore year-round--right in town, and in our Rogue Valley... But if you live here you find that there's a whole vibrant community that's largely separate from the tourist economy. There's the University, with its world-class musicians and chamber music series, and many other fine musical events year-round. There are fine poets and writers here. It's a magnet. Even the high school plays are great - the students have wonderful opportunities and make the most of them. Most of the kids here seem amazingly well-adjusted and polite; everyone remarks on this, if they came here from somewhere else. I've lived here several years, and am still discovering new things.

There are at least five major town celebrations. In January, we really go all-out for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If you happen to be here in July, don't miss the Fourth of July parade - small-town America with a quirky Ashland twist. In early October, Southern Oregon Pride Week is a fast-growing new tradition. Then, of course, a unique Halloween parade. And the fifth big one is our annual Grand Illumination and Holiday Parade in December. The whole town is quite beautiful in the winter, with the lights and sometimes even a dusting of snow (and much more on the hills just outside town).

Here, people stake out their favorite spots for the July 4 parade the day before - or just head for the library early (the main building dates back to the original Carnegie period):

And if you're  here in October, at the end of the Shakespeare Festival, don't miss the Halloween parade, which is a major community event each year. Here's a neat photo I found of the one in 2008:

(I lost the link to that one, but would be happy to add it if anyone can provide - and my thanks to the photographer.)

Here's a taste of SO Pride; more neat photos at: http://traveljapanblog.com/ashland/2011/10/sopride-parade-week/ Bringing together LGBTandEveryone:

And another one the whole town turns out for, jamming the Historic Ashland Armory, is the MLK celebration (this year was the 23rd annual). Still looking for a photo that does that one justice!

Of course, it's not perfect here. There are plenty of people living here who think all this progressivism and open-mindedness is simply appalling (though I doubt anyone like that would still be reading this). So far we outnumber them, and for the most part Ashland remains a great place to live.

Here are some other links about Asland, that I like.
Ashland's Peace Wall, installed in front of Public Library (now completed)
Ashland's Peace Wall (story)

Ashland Art Center

Jackson WellSprings: sacred land, water, and resilience

Northwest Nature Shop blog: http://www.northwestnatureshop.com/Nature_Education/

Blogging Ashland (welcome to Brigadoon): http://bloggingashland.wordpress.com/

"Malia's Miles" blog photoessay on Lithia Park: http://www.maliasmiles.com/OREGON/Ashland/LithiaPark.htm

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: http://www.osfashland.org/
And here's a good article on artistic director Bill Rauch, with a slide show: http://magazine.traveloregon.com/spring-2011/oregon-dreamer-bill-rauch/
And here, OSF actor John Tufts is doing a very entertaining video blog of his whirlwind search for Prince Hal and King Henry V, in http://www.myosf.org/connect/?tag=john-tufts

Traveller's blog: In Ashland, the Play's the Thing

Ashland Food Co-op - Southern Oregon's Only Certified Organic Retailer (the whole store!)

Outside Magazine's Best Towns list

"Two in a Million" documentary project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsbEI05Df7c
(trailer) and website here

Central Cascades Geotourism Project: Ashland: http://thecentralcascades.com/ashland-oregon/

"Ashland on the Cheap: Tips for Visitors" (Sunset Magazine): http://www.sunset.com/travel/northwest/things-to-do-ashland-oregon-00418000068211/

The Mythical State of Jefferson: http://www.ijpr.org/Page.asp?NavID=1033

Google image search - Ashland: http://images.google.com/images?q=Ashland%2C%20Oregon&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7SUNA_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1090&bih=508

"Ashland through the Lens" - 2008 photoessay by Pixability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCpMU8HlEls&feature=related

Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF): http://www.ashlandfilm.org/

Todd's Blog: AIFF 2010: http://www.fest21.com/en/blog/todd/aiff_2010_the_ashland_experience

AIFF 2010 - interviews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3gt24uniHI

Bruce Campbell on the difference between Ashland and Medford (interview from 2007 AIFF): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yawMW6Txa1k

Halloween in Ashland (can you spot the tourists?): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tppawllyvY&feature=related

Skiing Mt. Ashland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBF1QwPKoCI&NR=1

Ashland's Dog Bar (in Ashland Daily Photo) My friend Cindy remarks that the many water bowls that you see around Ashland and nearby Talent are a demonstration of a spirit of attention to and consideration for others that you don't often see in public places.

Naked Came the Rogue: Local writers are collaborating on a serial mystery novel set in the Valley. Follow it here:

Finally, if you're old enough you might be able to join us at Mountain Meadows community. It's not perfect, but it's way ahead of whatever's in second place. We're an intentional community. Here's our Facebook page. We aren't very active on it but you can find some links there to explore. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mountain-Meadows/164550348647

Not just Southern Oregon: Ashland is located in two other places: The State of Jefferson, and Cascadia...

Location of future country in political reality, and present country in social and ecological reality, of Cascadia; the State of Jefferson, which is properly a part of the Cascadian bioregion and should also be included with Cascadia if geography and ecology are to be respected, actually extends southward beyond the present Oregon border, to include some of the northern part of the present state of California.
Ashland is located just north of the California border, in the Mythical State of Jefferson (see also http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2008/Jefferson-State-Secede5oct08.htm and http://www.northcoastjournal.com/blogthing/2011/01/20/ta-ta-mother-humboldt/ ) in the greater geographical region known as Cascadia. Here are some of my favorite "it's not Ashland, but..." things about the country:

Out & About Treehouses - a B&B Treesort in Cave Junction, OR - never been there but would love to go someday.

Metatropolis: Cascadia (fiction)

Cascadia: The Elusive Utopia (nonfiction)

Women's Land Trusts and social history

Southern Oregon Time Bank

The Beauty of Oregon (Photographer Geoff Smith)