Local News – Maple Street Rhody Closure; Farley-Campbell Deployment; Coastal Cuisine; Tax Day?

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Old Town Street Closure over Rhody Days Draws Fire

An application to close one block of Maple Street during the annual Rhododendron Festival in May has drawn fire from neighboring businesses in Old Town.  The Chamber of Commerce wants to move the annual Vendor Fair to the block of Maple between Bay and First Streets.

Jon Burke, a major landlord in Old Town and, along with Jack Butler, co-owns four businesses there.  He’s opposed to the closure and the siting of the vendor fair anywhere near his properties.  In a letter to the Florence City Council Burke said he’s – quote – “very surprised” the Chamber is in support of the move.

The owners of the Wizard of Odds, Andres and Deborah Ruiz say the fair will further reduce their “ability to make a living”.  In their letter they say they are convinced a hearing tonight before the Florence City Council on the matter is simply a ‘formality’ and that it is already a – quote – “done deal”.

In fact, they’re observation isn’t too far from the truth.  City staff has little or no latitude in their recommendation and say the application meets the requirements set out in code.  Nonetheless, the Council will review the application, staff recommendations, and comments to the contrary this evening at city hall.  That meeting begins at seven.

Farley-Campbell Deployment

One item of business this evening at city hall prior to the council meeting will be a farewell reception for Senior Planner Wendy Farley-Campbell.  She’ll be deploying next month for a tour of duty in Northeast Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy as a member of a Provincial Reconstruction Team to support efforts to empower local government there to govern more effectively.  This evening’s reception and farewell is set for 6:30 just prior to the City Council meeting.

Coastal Cuisine

Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s Coastal Cuisine Gala at Three Rivers Casino and Hotel.  It’s a major fund raiser for Florence  Food Share and offers the best that coastal restaurants, wineries and breweries have to offer.  This year there will be even broader beverage selections as three distilleries will be offering samples of northwest vodka.  Ticket prices are $50 per person and each attendee can sample food and beverage offerings from a number of purveyors from six until nine pm.  Tickets are available at Food Share, TR Hunter Real Estate and at the door.

D.C. Holiday postpones the inevitable

Ok, yesterday was Sunday, April 15th, so why aren’t taxes due today?  Well, the answer lies in a local holiday in Washington D.C.

On April 16th 1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed the “Compensated Emancipation Act” for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia… a full nine-months ahead of his famous Emancipation Proclamation.  It’s the only example of compensation by the federal government for emancipated slaves.  In 2005 the date became a holiday in the District… and since much of the central operation of the Internal Revenue Service is based in D.C., that means employees in the District get today off.

It’s only an issue for taxpayers when the traditional tax filing deadline… April 15th… falls on a Weekend.  Tax filers have until midnight tomorrow to submit their tax returns.