Wednesday, February 25, 2004

For Immediate Release

Walden to Visit Southern Oregon on Friday, February 27 & Monday, March 1

Events to include meeting on future of White City Dom, education & economy events with Deputy Secretary of U.S. Department of Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) will visit Medford on Friday, February 27 and Monday, March 1. His schedule for the two days follows.

Friday, February 27

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Congressman Walden will attend an event at the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics (SORCC), also known as the White City Dom. Walden will address a meeting of SORCC administrators, employees, patients and volunteers concerning the future of the facility. On February 13, 2003, the VA's Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) Commission released its final recommendation that the current level of inpatient care should be maintained at the SORCC. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is expected to make his final decision regarding the SORCC within the next 30 days. Joining Walden will be Jackson County Commissioner Sue Kupillas; Dr. Max McIntosh, SORCC Director; Dr. Andrew Mebane, SORCC Chief of Staff; Anna Diehl, SORCC Chief of Community Development Relations; Jonathan Lamb, President, SORCC Patient Council. Location: Campus Theater, VA SORCC, 8495 Crater Lake Hwy, White City.

1:00 PM to 1:45 PM – Congressman Walden will visit Southern Oregon University’s (SOU) library to learn about the implementation of a system to digitize rare books and documents. Walden helped secure federal funds for the project in 2000. The tour and presentation will be conducted by Library Administrator Sue Burkholder. Also taking part in the library tour will be former State Senator Neil Bryant and former Governor Vic Atiyeh. Location: Southern Oregon University Library, 3rd Floor.

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM – Congressman Walden will speak at a tribute to honor Senator Lenn and Dixie Hannon on the occasion of Sen. Hannon’s retirement from the State Senate. Walden will formally present a framed Congressional Record statement he delivered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in Hannon’s honor. A number of elected officials, community leaders and friends and family of the Hannons will attend the tribute. Location: Center Stage Theater, SOU, Theatre Building on Mountain Avenue, Ashland.

Monday, March 1

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Congressman Walden will visit Washington Elementary School with Deputy Secretary Eugene Hickok, the second-highest ranking official at the U.S. Department of Education. Walden and Hickok will meet with Principal Stephanie Johnson, school administrators and teachers to discuss the No Child Left Behind Act, other education issues and school needs. Following their meeting, Walden and Hickok will be given a tour of the school and then address the students and faculty at an assembly. Walden will present a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in honor of the school’s student body. Location: Washington Elementary School, 610 Peach Street, Medford.

11:00 AM to 11:15 AMMEDIA AVAILABILITY. Immediately following the education event at Washington Elementary School, Congressman Walden and Deputy Secretary Hickok will be available for print, radio and television interviews. Media representatives are encouraged to call Dallas Boyd at (202) 226-7338 to advise him if they intend to take advantage of the media availability time. Location: Washington Elementary School, outside front entrance.

11:30 AM to 11:45 AM – MEDIA AVAILABILITY. Prior to Congressman Walden’s noon event at the Red Lion Hotel, Congressman Walden and Deputy Secretary Hickok will be available for print, radio and television interviews. Location: Red Lion Hotel, Banquet Room entry lobby.

12:00 PM to 1:15 PM – Congressman Walden and Deputy Secretary Hickok will speak to a lunch meeting of the Medford Chamber of Commerce, including its Board of Directors and Education Action Team. A number of educators from various schools and colleges in southern Oregon will be in attendance. Walden and Hickok will deliver an update on the President's new budget, the No Child Left Behind Act and the state of the economy in relation to education. Following their formal remarks, a question and answer period will give attendees the opportunity to ask questions about specific concerns. Location: Red Lion Hotel, 200 North Riverside Avenue, Medford.

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM – Congressman Walden and Deputy Secretary Hickok will take part in an educational, economic and workforce development roundtable at Rogue Community College (RCC). Representatives of RCC, Klamath Community College, Oregon Institute of Technology and Southern Oregon University will attend the roundtable, which will offer an opportunity for Secretary Hickok to see how southern Oregon’s regional community colleges and universities have formed partnerships to meet the needs of the region's business community and the local citizens pursuing career education opportunities. Each school will outline their programs, as well as the partnerships that they have developed with each other. Both Klamath and Rogue Community Colleges will highlight the partnerships that they have developed with local businesses to meet local workforce development needs. Each institution will highlight the impact of federal dollars on their mission. Location: S Building, 101 South Front, Medford.

Congressman Walden represents the Second Congressional District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in southern, central and eastern Oregon. He is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.