MONDAY 11-12-2012 Petraeus story, the land swap deal in Medford with HAJC (I think it's stinky) The "Fosbury Flop" history, Dr. John Menke battles the enviros.

Nov 12, 2012 -- 6:35pm

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I smell corruption in this proposed land swap deal (Look at the Thursday evening session at the link)  which the city council hears this Thursday in the evening session. The Jackson County Housing Authority gets 50 low income units at Cherry Creek, the city gives HAJC a prime lot at 6th and Grape for 50 low income houses and 30,000 sf in retail.

Who's idea was this? Why wasn't it negotiated in the open, especially since the city taxpayers are bestowing all these "gifts" paid for with citizen money? Who is getting paid off? Is it the east side neighbors not wanting low income housing near their neighborhood? HAJC? A combination? Unfortunately for the neighborhood, the case to deny the original development was weak, weak weak. I know it's not what they want to hear, but this isn't passing my good open government "spidey sense".

Dr. Dennis Powers "Visiting Past and Present" post for this week!

Dick Fosbury's Ground-Breaking Flop

By Dennis Powers

Dick Fosbury grew up in Medford and when at Medford High School, he wanted to play different sports. By his own admission, he was a “fair” basketball player (but usually on the bench), a “terrible” hurdler, and tried football as a third-string end. He gave that up in his junior year, when his good-friend Bill “Earthquake” Enyart (who went on to play in the NFL) blocked him so hard in one drill that Fosbury lost two front teeth.

He figured out that his “lankiness” shouldn’t be as much a problem in the high jump. When using the standard “scissors” kick, he had cleared 5’4’’ in junior high and had even won a meet or two. His varsity high-school coach, however, insisted on the Western Roll (kicking ones outer, rather than inner leg over the bar), but he just couldn't get this down.

In 1963, the sophomore was on the team bus for a Rotary meet at Grants Pass with twelve schools. He decided that he would do whatever it took for “one last jump”. If he couldn’t beat 5’4’’, he would always be a third-stringer. At the meet, he cleared that bar; on his next jump, he went 2-inches higher by arching slightly backwards. Driven by desperation, he added another 2 inches by reclining even more and heading further backwards over the bar.

By now coaches and competitors alike were staring. On his fourth attempt, he cleared another 2 inches for 5’10’’ and was completely on his back as he sailed over. To add 1/2-foot in height in high jumping--in two hours--was unheard of. The coaches began arguing: Was this move legal, allowable, safe, and what in the heck was it?

Fosbury had spontaneously created a style of his own, totally fracturing what had been taught before. This was on-site engineering, where he was driven--by any means--to get over a higher bar and beat his rivals. It was serendipity at its highest. During the next full year of his upside-down technique, Fosbury began to lean with his shoulder, about 45 degrees to the bar, arch over on his back, and broke the school record of 6’3”.  

The novelty continued. One newspaper headlined the image of one jump: “The World’s Laziest High Jumper.” But it was the Medford Mail-Tribune in 1964 that gave a lead of “Fosbury Flops over the Bar.” A reporter had returned and said that Fosbury looked like nothing more than a fish flopping into a boat--and so came the name, the “Fosbury Flop”. 

He placed second at the state championships in his senior year (1965), and then headed to Oregon State University. A contrarian at heart, Fosbury hardly practiced the Flop, saying “There’s no use wearing myself out.” Promoters invited him to their events just because of the hype that followed.

Fosbury ultimately perfected his head-first leap by approaching the bar in a semicircle, pushing off his left foot and landing full on his back. (The key was to land on ones shoulders, not the neck, and always on a foam pad.) The Los Angeles Times wrote that he “goes over the bar like a guy being pushed out of a 30-story window.” Sports Illustrated had: “He charges up from slightly to the left of centre with a gait that may call to mind a two-legged camel,” and having flung himself over the bar back first, “he extends himself like a slightly apprehensive man lying back on a chaise longue that's too short for him.”  

He first cleared 7’ during the 1968 indoor season and won the NCAA’s that year. He won the Gold Medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games by clearing 7’ 4-1/4”, breaking the Olympic and American records. When he returned to Medford, a ticker-tape parade was held for him, but with no buildings taller than two stories, the kids had to run along his car to shower him with their confetti. He went on The Tonight Show and tried to teach Johnny Carson and fellow guest Bill Cosby how to do the Flop. He slipped, however, on his attempt when he tried doing this with his dress shoes on. Other shows included The Dating Game.  

He was top ranked in the world following his 1968 victory, and in 1969 Fosbury won his second NCAA title before placing second in the National AAU meet, plus adding his third Pacific-8 championship. He graduated from OSU in 1969 and trained for the 1972 Olympics but didn’t make the team, having lost his competitive interest, by his own admission. Turning professional in 1973, he joined the International Track Association for a few seasons and then retired. 

Fosbury moved to Ketchum, Idaho, in 1976 and founded an engineering firm. He was elected to the U.S.A. Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1981 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1992. He is past president and presently on the Executive Committee of the World Olympians Association, as well as vice president of the U.S. Olympians Association. In his mid-sixties now and living on a 20-acre ranch south of Sun Valley, Idaho, Dick Fosbury is still remembered as one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field, thanks to the Fosbury Flop that’s now the worldwide standard for high-jumping.  

See Hoffer, Richard. “The Revolutionary”, Sports Illustrated, September 14, 2009, at.; “USA Track & Field: Hall of Fame” at; “Dick Fosbury: Olympic Gold Medalist” at


6:35 Neil McCabe, reporter for Human Events, (sign up for his newsletters at (Guns and Patriots Dot Com) and we talk about the Petraeus story, where it's headed.

7:35 Dr. John Menke, speaking tomorrow night at Americans for Prosperity's meeting, Tuesday night, 6:30pm at the Medford Library main meeting room.
Please join them to hear two distinguished scholars and leaders-Dr. John Menke and Dr. Richard Gierak. There is much disagreement in Rogue Valley regarding whether we should be concerned if the Klamath Dams are removed. After all, they are so far away, why should we care? Siskiyou and Klamath Counties in California are deeply entrenched in this battle but Jackson County is almost virtually unaware of potential impacts to the Rogue Valley. While both Dr. Menke and Geirak support conservation they are also staunch supporters of freedom. You can support both.

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