Local News – Possible Timber Payment Extension; Roblan says Government Not Supposed to be Balanced; New Porgram Aims to Save Dishes From the Dumpster; and Spring Weather on the Way Out.

Coast Radio News
Local News

One Time Extension of Timber Payments Moving Through Senate

The U.S. Senate has agreed to continue compensating rural counties for a decline in federal timber payments because of environmental protections for the spotted owl, salmon and other species.  The move, which must also be supported by the House, would mean that Lane County would get a small lifeline… $4.5-million… to help offset an expected $13.5-million shortfall in the next fiscal year.

The Secure Rural Schools program has provided funding for rural communities that have suffered from a decline in timber harvests on federal lands.  An amendment sponsored by Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana would split up $346-million nationwide over the next year. 700 counties in 41-states will share the money with the largest portions going to Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho.  Lane County’s share would be less than half the payment received in 2008 and five-percent less than what was received this year.

Roblan Says Government Not Intended to Be Balanced

Despite a temporary stalemate near the end, the recently completed Oregon Legislative Session was productive says House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan.  But, he says, the second straight even division of both chambers produced some unique challenges.

With the election cycle already underway, he expects both sides to put every effort into breaking that tie.

Roblan – “You don’t think anybody in either of the parties wants us to be back in a thirty-thirty situation here, or a 15-15 situation in the Senate.  The system was not designed for that.  We made it work because of the people involved, but that is not necessarily the way government was designed to work.”

The Coos Bay Democrat, will not return to the House next year.  He’s running for the Fifth District Senate Seat that has been held by Joanne Verger.  His Republican opponent will be familiar to him… North Bend resident Scott Roberts ran against Roblan two years ago for the House seat.

Save Those Dishes

People interested in sustainability try to follow the mantra of “reduce-reuse-recycle”.  A new program being promoted by the Florence Master Recyclers hits two of those with one shot.  They’re seeking donations of durable flatware and dishware that can be offered to the community for various community, school, church and family functions.

The reuse component comes by saving the utensils and plates that might otherwise be discarded… the reduce component comes by eliminating the need to use disposable goods.  Group spokesperson Jenna Bartlett said donations of dishwasher safe goods can be dropped off at the Siuslaw News on Maple Street.

Farewell Sunshine

We hope you didn’t get too used to that springlike weather we’ve had for the past week.  According to forecasters it’s going to go away for a while.  A weak frontal system is expected to bring rain to the Oregon Coast overnight, followed by another, stronger system by tomorrow night.  That’s expected to bring significant snow accumulation in the Cascades and windy conditions along the coast.  The National Weather Service is also saying a third, even stronger front, is possible by Monday.