2012 ski swap on tap at St. Mary's School

    The Medford Ski Education Foundation will hold its annual Ski and Snowboard Swap next weekend, Nov. 9-11, in the multipurpose room at St. Mary's School, 816 Black Oak Drive, Medford.

    Several large merchants will be in attendance offering deals on new and used ski and snowboarding equipment. They will operate alongside private-party sellers looking for some extra holiday cash or an equipment upgrade.

    The annual swap is a way to recycle usable gear and is popular among families whose young athletes can grow out of their gear almost annually.

    "It's a less expensive way to get into skiing," says Ron Johnson, MSEF's swap meet coordinator. "It's getting people on the mountain who otherwise might not get that chance."

    People who have used snowboards, skis, boots, helmets and clothing they'd like to sell can check in prior to the event during a merchant registration from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the MSEF Clubhouse at 303 E. Jackson St., next to the Rogue Ski Shop.

    An early-bird sale will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9. Admission that day will be $5 per person. Kids 12 years and younger get in free.

    Last year's Friday event drew a crowd of close to 300 bargain hunters looking for deals as the doors opened.

    "People want to get in to get the first shot at things," Johnson says. "It's turned into quite an event.

    The Saturday, Nov. 10, sale will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission that day will be $3 per person.

    A closeout sale will be featured from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, with free admission and all merchandise on the floor discounted up to 50 percent.

    MSEF is a nonprofit foundation that works to make competitive skiing available for high-school students in Jackson and Josephine counties, where local school districts cannot afford ski-racing programs. Participants range from casual skiers to athletes looking to qualify for the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association's State High School Championships.

    The annual swap event is the foundation's largest fundraiser of the year.

    Coaches and team members will be available throughout the weekend to answer questions from student athletes interested in joining the program.

    Additional details for buyers and sellers are available on the MSEF website at www.msefskier.com or www.southernoregonskiswap.com.

    Boat owners with boat-registration decals that expire at the end of 2012 can expect to see a renewal notice in the mail as early as this weekend.

    The Oregon State Marine Board on Thursday began mailing renewal notices to the registered owners of more than 82,000 boats whose registrations expire Dec. 31.

    Boat registrations in Oregon last for two years, and roughly half of the registrations are up for renewal annually.

    To renew your registration, find the boat registration number and PIN on the renewal notice. Then either visit the Marine Board's website at www.boatoregon.com or call 503-378-8587.

    There is no processing fee. Payments vary based on the length of the boat, with the fee at $3 per linear foot. The individual boat's registration cost is listed on each renewal notice.

    The fee includes a $5 surcharge for the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, which was created by the 2009 Oregon Legislature to curb introductions of non-native aquatic species such as quagga mussels. It's the same fee paid by users of kayaks, canoes and other boats on Oregon waterways.

    The fee is an additional charge on top of the boat registration, which has not increased.

    Those who register online can print out a temporary permit. Decals will be mailed five to seven business days after renewal.

    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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