Local News – Folk Festival; Gas Prices; State of the County; Our Town; and prep scores

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Local News

Two legendary groups to headline 2012 Folk Festival

Before flower-power, the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane the “San Francisco Sound” meant harmonic vocals, a blending of acoustic and electric guitars and rock music with a bit of jazz and a lot of folk.  The vocal group that originated that sound… We Five… will be the Sunday afternoon headliners at this weekend’s Winter Folk Festival.

The other headliner, Saturday evening, will be Tom Chapin and Friends.  Chapin, who originally performed with his brother Harry as the Chapin Brothers, spent most of a solo career performing a wide variety of music… much of it reflecting his personal views about politics, the environment and racial tolerance.

They won’t be the only musical performers though as eight other groups from around the country will perform during daytime hours.  One of the most popular features of the annual festival will be the artisan craft fair that features 35 different vendors offering their wares, many of them doing live demonstrations.

Festival passes for the entire weekend are $50, individual headliner concerts are $22 each.  Tickets and information are available at the FEC Box Office.

State of the County

Lane County Commission Chair Faye Stewart says 2011 was a ‘pivotal year and he pledges county government in the coming years will be open and accountable, respectful and be held to the highest ethical standards.  Stewart delivered the annual ‘State of the County’ address last night to an audience of mostly county employees and community officials.  He said he was personally proud of improvements made to county government in the past year, but wants to build on that progress.  He laid out some lofty goals that include reducing property crime in Lane County over the next five years by 25-percent.

Prices at the pump on record setting trend

Retail gas prices started 2012 at record highs and continue to climb.  According to Triple-A the national average price for regular unleaded jumped nine-cents this week to $3.37, while Oregon’s average added a nickel and is at $3.44.  The average price increase in Florence split the difference… it went up by seven cents… and is $3.31.  According to Triple-A average prices are nearly 20-cents per gallon higher this year than last January.

Florence’s new Police Chief, the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, MLK observance and more….

KCST’s Our Town this afternoon will feature conversations with a number of people in and around the community.  New Florence Police Chief Ray Gutierrez; Pioneer Museum President Del Phelps; U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Eugene Weekly Editor Ted Taylor will be four of the guests on the monthly public affairs program.  Also on tap will be a conversation with local attorney Ron Gerber and activist Lea Patten about their efforts to allow voters in the Heceta Water District to decide on how that agency will operate in the future.  They’re the chief petitioners in a drive to convert it from a “special district” to a “people’s utility district”.  Most people may not see the distinctions, but Gerber says it could mean the difference between survival and failure.  The program airs on 106.9 this afternoon from four to six pm.

Prep Basketball Scores

Girls’ basketball… Mapleton’s Liz Harry had 24 points and the Sailors ran away from the Siletz Valley Warriors in the second half for a 48-38 win last night.  In Gold Beach, the Reedsport Braves edged the Panthers by one, 26-25.  And, in Florence, Ashlee Cole had 16 points and eight rebounds as the Lady Vikings demolished the Douglas Trojans 52-22 in the Far West League opener.  In other league games Brookings-Harbor downed North Bend 41-38 and Sutherlin beat South Umpqua 48-19.

For the Boys… Mitchell Butler had 16 points, Jake Thompson 12 and John Dodson 11 as the Vikings knocked off the Douglas Trojans 66-29 to open their league season.  In the other Far West contests, South Umpqua edged Sutherlin 70-67 and North Bend beat Brookings 65-34.  In Gold Beach, the Panthers got by the Reedsport Braves 52 – 43; and in the Mountain West League, Mapleton beat Siletz Valley 44 – 29.