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Burgers and Politics Sept. 8 at CRR
By John Bowler
   CRR Correspondent
   The Jefferson County Republicans' sixth annual Burgers and Politics event will begin at noon Saturday, Sept. 8, at MacPherson Park in Crooked River Ranch.
   According to Kate Adams, Jefferson County Republican chairwoman and event organizer, the event was initiated in 2007 by a group of GOP-affiliated Ranchers, who did not think the Sept. 11, 2001, New York Trade Center terrorist attack -- resulting in widespread destruction and loss of lives -- was receiving the proper observance and commemoration it deserved on the Ranch.
   A 9/11 commemoration continues to be a key element of every succeeding event put on by the same group. Adams said this year's 9/11 commemoration at the event will have a surprise format, to be revealed during the proceedings.
   Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party Allen Alley will moderate the entire event.
   Over the years, this gathering, which is open to all, has had different formats, starting out as an evening dinner, moving to noon steak broils and, lately, burgers and chips, rain or shine every year.
   All have included conversations about politics as well as attendees meeting candidates seeking election in November and being able to ask questions of them. Adams said 300 attended the same event in 2010.
   Voter registration on the Ranch is listed by the Jefferson County clerk as consisting of: 1,051 Republicans; 711 Democrats; 87 other parties (Libertarian, Working Family, Progressive, Pacific Green) and 339 not affiliated with any party, for a grand total of 2,288 registered voters. The Ranch is by far the largest voting precinct in Jefferson County.
   The Jefferson County Democratic party chairman is Rancher Fran Davis. When contacted she said that the Democrats will be conducting a cleanup of Highway 97 on Sept. 24, starting at mile 97 by the Ford auto dealership on the south end of Madras and ending at mile 99, by the feedlot on Highway 97, further south.
   Davis said three Ranch Democrats had signed up for the cleanup of Highway 97.
   When queried about important issues in this year's elections in addition to the obvious presidential election and those of state officers, Adams said Oregon, like most other states is faced with annual income shortfalls versus expenses.
   A check of the Jefferson County clerk's website revealed the presence of a five-year-operation local option tax measure for the Madras Aquatic Center on the Nov. 6 election ballot in Jefferson County.
   Its wording is, "If approved this measure will provide funding for the Madras Aquatic Center Special District so that it could stay open 12 months a year and offer additional recreational events and programming."
   The measure would raise about $240,000, according to an estimate by County Assessor Jean McCloskey, but will not affect Ranch real estate tax rates, since the Ranch is not part of the MAC District.
   Tennis Fest
   Ranch Administrator Judy LaPora said she didn't know that the annual Burgers and Politics was already scheduled for MacPherson Park on Sept. 8, when she picked the same date and approximate time for Tennis Fest.
   It was too late to reschedule Tennis Fest when the duplication was brought to her attention, so both events will run within sight and earshot of each other at roughly the same time. Both organizers said it is not a problem.
   The tennis event will feature free hot dogs and drinks along with a chance to play on the totally new Ranch tennis courts at the same site as the former ones. It's further up Country Club Drive and closer to the clubhouse from MacPherson Park, the site of Burgers and Politics.
   The new tennis courts are also configured for pickle ball, which will be demonstrated by experienced players on hand for the event. It's a downsized version of traditional tennis played with a bigger, slower ball and paddles instead of racquets. Both will be available for play to wannabe players who have not yet acquired the equipment.
   Local tennis player Riley Hanks, who is a champion in her age group of, 11-12 years old, has agreed to take on challengers who pay $1 to try to score a point against her. According to LaPora, the proceeds will be used to offset the cost of the hot dogs and drinks.