Local News – Boys and Girls Club facing funding challenges; Florence Officials meet with Governor’s Representatives; Co-Speakers invite words and action; and a couple minor quakes

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Increased Membership Brings Increased Funding Requirements

A slight change in focus, and an expanded partnership with Siuslaw Schools over the past 18 months has been a boon to membership at the Boys and Girls Club.  Director Ken Gaylord says the two organizations cooperated on the federal 21st Century Grant to help pay for homework assistance and afterschool programs last year.

Ken Gaylord – “Daily attendance in our after school program in 2011 was up by 43%.  Boys and Girls Club, national is looking for an increase in daily attendance of 7%.”

That partnership, coupled with a focus on providing a positive and enriching environment for kids means the growth is continuing.

Ken Gaylord – “We’re experiencing just overwhelming growth in 2012.  Our memberships for the first three months of the year are already up 30% over last year’s.”

Gaylord says club membership is at 600 kids, with an average of just over 100 each day at after school locations.  But, that growth has been a two-edged sword.  The club relies on grants and fund raisers for most of its operating revenue.

Ken Gaylord – “Community support has actually decreased in the last three years.  It’s understandable with the way the economy is, we understand that part.”

That’s meant an increased reliance on outside grants.  That’s not generally a sustainable funding model.  Gaylord, along with the club’s board members and staff are continually working to increase community funding.

City officials meet with Governor’s representatives

Florence officials spent time Thursday with the Governor's Regional Strategies Team. Clockwise from left, Dave Perry-DLCD; Savannah Crawford-ODOT; Ed Moore-DLCD; Karen Clearwater-Dept of Housing and Community Services; Mary Camaratta-DEQ; Brent Salmon-Building Codes; Bobby Lee-Regional Coordinator; Paul Holman- Florence City Councilor; Mayor Phil Brubaker; Councilor Sue Roberts; Councilor Nola Xavier.

Elected officials and city staff met for about three hours yesterday with a team from the Governor’s office.  The reason:  to stay on the radar says Florence Mayor Phil Brubaker.

Phil Brubaker – “The purpose of the session was to cover all of the projects and the activities going on inside the city so that state agencies are aware of that.”

Governor Kitzhaber believes the state can no longer afford what he calls “single-objective” spending and instead has directed state agencies to try to work cooperatively not only with each other, but with local governments.

Phil Brubaker – “We discussed a wide range of issues, from environmental… Our Siuslaw Estuary Partnership project… and other items like that, as well as our need for economic revitalization.”

The team was led by the regional coordinator… Bobby Lee…who reports directly to Governor Kitzhaber.  The panel included representatives from the Oregon Departments of Transportation; Land Conservation and Development; Environmental Quality; Housing and Community Services; Employment; Ports; and Business Development.

Co Speakers ask for actions along with words

The product of a unique power sharing arrangement in the Oregon House of Representatives… Co-Speakers of the House… will be in Florence tomorrow afternoon to listen to constituents.  Roseburg Republican Bruce Hanna and Coos Bay Democrat Arnie Roblan will host a Town Hall meeting at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue tomorrow afternoon at 2:30.  The two, who shared leadership duties in the House in the last two sessions, say they want to engage with residents and answer any questions about legislative issues arising out of the 2012 session that ended in late February.  They are asking folks who may attend to do more than just talk about meeting challenges.  Because Oregon has the highest “food insecurity rate” in the nation for children, they’ll be collecting non-perishable food and cash donations that will be given to Food For Lane County.

Minor Quakes… 

A pair of smaller earthquakes yesterday followed Wednesday afternoon’s 5.9 shaker that was recorded about 160-miles west of Coos Bay.  Thursday’s quakes each registered 2.7 magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survey.   The first was at 8:25 AM and was 130-miles west of Coos Bay; the other was 25 minutes later and was 137 miles west of Bandon. There were no reports of damage, and nobody reported feeling either.