Welcome to the Year of the Horse! As we’ve been doing for nearly six years now, this issue of the Review is packed with news and information on what’s happening in our little corner of the world. And although everyone I know is tired of the fog and cold weather, our lives are sunny and warm when it comes to living in a delightful community offering so much.

As we kick-off Jacksonville’s Chinese New Year Celebration, I’d like to thank Jeresa Hren for making our incredible cover possible. Jeresa has been close friends with Yeh Fei Pai, a world-famous artist from Taiwan, since their days together at National Cheng-Chi University, in Taipei, Taiwan. When we discussed the concept for this month’s cover back in October, Jeresa, a long-time board member of SOCCA (Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association) liked the idea and asked Yeh Fei Pai to paint a never-before-seen piece of art… for our cover! We are grateful to both of them for this very special honor and encourage you to watch Yeh Fei Pai paint in-person during this year’s celebration. You’ll find a complete event calendar inside, including Yeh Fei Pai’s art demonstrations on page 35.

Speaking of the arts, Porscha Shiller of South Stage Cellars and our friends at Britt Festivals have another fantastic Rising Stars Music Competition planned for this year. On Saturday afternoons in February, South Stage Cellars will be THE place to be to listen to the best local musicians…all vying for this year’s title and a chance to perform live on the Britt Stage! Please see the full Rising Stars schedule on the back page of this issue (and on our online Local Events Calendar) and a full-length article about Rising Stars on page 6. The Review would like to thank our friends Graham Farran and Gayle Pobuda at Expert Properties for generously giving up their spot on the back cover of this issue for the Rising Stars calendar. Please see the Expert Properties ad on page 3.

Finally, looking ahead, the 2014 political landscape promises to be interesting with many challenges and opportunities facing our community. Some of the issues we’ll be following include the removal of Jacksonville’s aging dam in the Forest Park, the proposed redevelopment of the Courthouse property for city offices, the possible construction of a community center complex, the May 2014 County-wide library tax levy and other important matters impacting our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!

Posted January 27, 2014