Local News – Transportation Plan; Ocean Issues Forum; Plover Nesting; Whale Watching; and Vikings Victorious

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Florence Draft Transportation Plan Subject of Hearing

An all encompassing plan for transportation in Florence is being presented tomorrow evening, and residents are being asked to learn more about it as well as tell officials what they think.  A special work session at City Hall will be used to help people learn more about Florence’s draft transportation plan.  The six pm meeting will be followed by a public hearing before the Planning Commission at seven.

In addition to spelling out how the city’s network of pathways, streets and roads will accommodate pedestrians, bicycles and cars, it also lays out updates to the community transit and airport plans.   Community Development Director Sandra Belson says some of the key findings of the study behind the plan show several area intersections will become increasingly congested over the years if nothing is done.

The draft plan identifies a total of 71 projects that are expected to compete for scarce financial resources over the next several years.  22 have been targeted as “high priority”.  Four are aimed at improving traffic circulation for cars; 18 are directly related to improving facilities and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Plover Nesting Protections In Place

The nesting season for a rare and protected species of seabird went into place earlier this month along the Oregon Coast.  Regular visitors to beaches in western Lane and Douglas Counties are no doubt familiar with the brightly colored ropes marking dry sand nesting areas for the endangered Western Snowy Plover.  In all, nine nesting areas between Lane County and Curry County will be off-limits through September 15th.  Sites include Sutton Beach, the Siltcoos River Estuary, Tahkenitch Creek and Oregon Dunes Overlook beach areas near Florence.

Ocean Issues Forum

The Siuslaw Watershed Council will host their fifth annual Ocean Issues Forum this week at the Florence Events Center.  The emphasis will be on marine debris.  The Wednesday evening forum, from six to nine pm at the Florence Events Center, will also include an update on the Marine Reserves Process and an overview of successful efforts to clean up derelict crab gear.  It will conclude with a moderated panel discussion featuring the five presenters that evening.

Whale Watching Spoken Here

Thousands of grey whales are on the move along the Oregon Coast, headed north towards summer feeding grounds in the Bering Seas.  Dozens of people were staked out over the weekend hoping to catch a glimpse of the massive mammals.  The Oregon State Parks Department has rolled out the annual Spring Break “Whale Watching Spoken Here” program to help people see the whales and their young that migrate north this time of year.  They’ve already given birth to their young in the warm, calm waters near Mexico.

Vikings Victorious on the Diamond

The Siuslaw Vikings dominated the Cottage Grove Lions in two games Saturday afternoon, winning 15-2 and 11-nothing.  In game one, Jake Thompson pitched a complete game 6-innings, allowing one hit and striking out 13 batters for the win.  Ryan Smith struck out six and held the Lions hitless in the first four innings in game two.  Josh Iabachello (yah-buh-KELL-oh) was 3-for-4 at the plate in game one, hitting ¾ of the way through the cycle with three RBI and two runs scored.